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Results of the Regional Economic and Industrial Research (July-September 2018)

October 24, 2018

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has compiled the results of the Regional Economic and Industrial Research that Regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry conduct on a quarterly basis to identify regional economic trends, and METI hereby releases the results.

[Highlights]
The assessment of the national economic situation remains the same as that in the previous quarter. It is "improving moderately." METI will pay attention to possible influences of frequent natural disasters on the economy as a whole.
Compared to the previous quarter, the assessment of the regional economic situation remains the same, except for Hokkaido and Chugoku, for which the assessment was revised downward.

1. Regional Economic and Industrial Research

Regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry survey enterprises in their service areas using interviews and other survey techniques on a quarterly basis for the purpose of identifying economic trends, such as those related to business conditions, production, and investment in facilities, and collect and analyze the survey results.

2. General Summary

The national economic situation is improving moderately (no change).
Despite temporary production decreases due to heavy rains and earthquakes and concerns over trade issues, production as a whole remains steady as seen in brisk production of semiconductor-related products in the general-purpose, production, and business-oriented machinery industries and automobiles in the transport equipment industry. Proactive movement is observed in business investment for productivity enhancement and personnel reduction. The effective ratio of job offers remains at a high level. As for private consumption, sales of high-priced goods remain brisk, with some weakness being observed partially due to bad weather and other factors.

It is necessary to closely watch the influences on the economy of natural disasters that occurred frequently this summer.

3. Regional Summaries

[Hokkaido] Picking up with some weakness observed due to the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake (downward)

Production shows weakness due to decreases in agricultural machinery and semiconductor parts despite an increase in oil products. Private consumption is picking up with steady sales of foods and beverages and duty-free items, but tourism is sluggish as a result of lots of cancellations after the earthquake.

[Tohoku] Picking up moderately although some businesses show weak performance (no change)
Production is picking up as production of semiconductor-related products and products for automobiles maintains a high level in the production machinery industry. Private consumption is at a standstill due to weak movement in sales of clothing and other products, despite brisk sales of cooling items and cool food items.

[Kanto] Improving (no change)
Production is steady but there are increasing concerns over the influence of component shortage and overseas trends. The employment situation is improving in a steady manner. Private consumption shows signs of picking up, while some businesses have been negatively influenced by weather.

[Tokai] Improving (no change)
Production maintains a high level in the transport equipment industry, and the electronic parts and devices industry shows production increases. Private consumption is moderately picking up due to steady performance of convenience stores and drug stores.

[Hokuriku] Improving (no change)
Production remains at a high level mainly in the chemicals and electronic parts and devices industries. Private consumption is picking up thanks to brisk sales centered on foods.

[Kinki] Improving moderately (no change)
Production shows signs of picking up moderately, mainly in the general-purpose, production and business-oriented machinery and electrical machinery industries. Private consumption is improving moderately, still backed by brisk sales of duty-free items and high-priced goods, while weak movement is seen due to the heavy rains in July and typhoons.

[Chugoku] Picking up basically although some businesses show weak performance (downward)
Production temporarily decreased due to the heavy rains in July but shows signs of picking up in all industries. Private consumption is experiencing a pause in a picking up trend due to customer decreases caused by bad weather.

[Shikoku] Picking up moderately (no change)
Production is seesawing with some weakness in the electrical machinery and pulp, paper and paper products industries. Private consumption shows signs of picking up while some businesses have been negatively influenced by weather and other factors.

[Kyushu] Improving moderately (no change)
Production continues to be at a high level. As for business investment, some businesses are investing in facilities to increase production and in opening new stores or renovating stores. Private consumption continuously shows steady performance in sales of high-priced goods and cosmetics, and positive movement is also observed in sales of foods and beverages and UV items.

[Okinawa] Continuing to improve (no change)
Against the backdrop of the increase in the number of tourists and the improvement of employment environments, private consumption continues to improve. Business investment is also picking up.

Note: The term "upward" means a higher performance from the previous research results, the term "no change" means performance remaining flat, and the term "downward" means lower performance.

Division in Charge

Regional Economic and Industrial Research Office, Regional Economic and Industrial Policy Group

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