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Results of the Regional Economic and Industrial Research (July- September 2019) were Compiled

October 23, 2019

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

[Highlights of the results]
The assessment of the national economic situation remains the same as that in the previous quarter. It is "improving moderately although some businesses show weakness."

Compared to the previous quarter, the assessment of regional economic conditions has been revised downward for the Chugoku region and has remained the same in other regions.

1. Regional Economic and Industrial Research

The 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 in the areas, such as those related to business conditions, production, and business investment, and they collect and analyze the survey results.

2. General summary

Improving moderately although some businesses show weakness (no change)
Production shows steadiness in the transportation equipment industry. However, demand has not fully recovered for the electronic parts and devices industry affected by the overseas economic slowdown, although the demand for smartphones, etc. seems to have partially bottomed out. The production machinery industry shows weakness in the production of machine tools, etc. The upward trend continues in business investment for reducing the personnel necessary to run businesses for the purpose of enhancing production capacity and overcoming labor shortages. With regard to the employment situation, the effective ratio of job offers to applicants remains at a high level. Private consumption partially shows weak performance due to such reasons as bad weather, but sales of luxury goods continue to be brisk.

3. Regional summaries

[Hokkaido] Picking up moderately (no change)
Production shows slight weakness due to reduced production in the pulp, paper, and paper-processed products industry. Private consumption is seesawing. Tourism is partially sluggish with a decrease in overseas tourists to Japan caused by worsened relations between Japan and South Korea.

[Tohoku] Showing some pause although some businesses are picking up (no change)
Production as a whole is seesawing due to weak production in the electronic parts and devices industry, while the transportation equipment industry and the production machinery industry show steady performance. Private consumption remains stagnant on the whole, while some movements are seen in automobiles and luxury goods.

[Kanto] Improving moderately (no change)
Weakness is recently observed mainly in production of electronic parts and devices and machine tools due to the continued impact of international situations and other factors. The employment situation is steadily improving, while businesses continue to face a labor shortage. Private consumption is picking up moderately, while some differences are seen between different types of industries.

[Tokai] Improving (no change)
Production remains at a low level in the electronic parts and devices industry, but maintains a high level in the transportation equipment industry, which is the major industry of the region. Private consumption is picking up moderately thanks to steady sales at convenience stores, drug stores and other businesses.

[Hokuriku] Improving although some businesses show weakness (no change)
Production shows weakness in the electronic parts and devices industry, while remaining at a high level mainly in the chemicals and production machinery industries. Private consumption is picking up thanks to steady sales at supermarkets, drug stores and other businesses, with some positive effects of newly opened stores.

[Kinki] Improving moderately (no change)
The moderate recovery trend in production shows some signs of pausing. Private consumption is improving moderately as consumption by overseas tourists to Japan remains brisk and steady sales of luxury goods are seen domestically.

[Chugoku] Showing some pause in signs of picking up (downward)
There seems to be some pause in the recent signs of production picking up due to decreases in automobile exports and in demand for some electronic parts and devices. Private consumption also shows some pause in the moderate recovery trend, partly affected by bad weather.

[Shikoku] Showing some pause in signs of picking up (no change)
Production as a whole remains sluggish with some weakness seen in the electrical machinery industry. Private consumption shows signs of picking up.

[Kyushu] Remaining flat (no change)
Production of semiconductors for smartphones has increased, while that in the general-purpose, production, and business oriented machinery industries and materials-related industries is partially sluggish. Private consumption as a whole remains flat despite some difficulties caused by bad weather or other factors.

[Okinawa] Continuing to improve (no change)
The effective ratio of job offers to applicants remains stable, and personal consumption continues to improve as seen in steady sales at department stores, supermarkets and drug stores, etc.

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

Division in Charge

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