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Results of the Regional Economic and Industrial Research (October-December 2019) Compiled

January 23, 2020

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has compiled 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, and METI hereby releases the results.

[Highlights of the results]
The assessment of the national economic situation remains the same as that in the previous quarter. It is “improving moderately, while more businesses show weaker movement.”

Compared to the previous quarter, the assessment of regional economic conditions has been revised downward in the Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Tokai, Hokuriku and Kinki regions 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 investment in facilities, and they collect and analyze the survey results.

2. General summary

Improving moderately, while more businesses show weaker movement (no change)
Production seems to have partially bottomed out in the electronic parts and devices industry for smartphones and other products although demand has not fully recovered for industries affected by the overseas economic slowdown and other factors. Production shows weakness in the transportation equipment industry and the production machinery industry. 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 movement due to such reasons as natural disasters and the warmer winter, in addition to sluggish movement in sales of luxury goods.

3. Regional summaries

[Hokkaido] Showing some pause although some businesses show signs of picking up (downward)
Production shows weak movement due to such reasons as a decrease in the sales of food affected by a record-low-productivity fishing season. Private consumption is highly variable. Tourism is partially sluggish due to a decrease in overseas tourists to Japan caused by worsened relations between Japan and the ROK.

[Tohoku] Showing some pause (downward)
Production as a whole has been showing weakness due to weak production in the electronic parts and devices industry and the transportation equipment industry, while the production machinery industry shows steady performance. Private consumption shows some pause due to the poor sales performance affected by natural disasters and other factors.

[Kanto] Improving moderately although some businesses show weak movement (downward)
Production remains weak mainly in the transportation equipment industry affected by economic slowdown in Asian countries and other factors. The employment situation is improving, while businesses continue to face a labor shortage. Private consumption is highly variable, while some differences are seen between different types of industries.

[Tokai] Showing some pause while improving (downward)
Production shows signs of picking up in the electronic parts and devices industry, while showing weakness in the transportation equipment industry as the major industry of the region. Private consumption is moderately picking up due to the steady performance in convenience stores and drug stores.

[Hokuriku] Showing some pause (downward)
Production shows weak movement in the electronic parts and devices industry and the production machinery industry, while remaining at a high level in the chemicals industry. Private consumption shows some pause as a whole, while supermarkets and drugstores enjoy steady movement thanks to the effects of newly opened stores.

 

[Kinki] Improving moderately although some businesses show weak movement (downward)
Production has been showing weakness. Private consumption shows some pause in improvement due to the remarkable broad impact of the consumption tax hike and the waning momentum of overseas tourists’ visits to Japan despite the continuation of relatively robust performance.

[Chugoku] Showing some pause in signs of picking up (no change)
Production has been showing weakness due to decreases in demand seen in some businesses in the iron-and-steel, automobile, and electronic parts and device industries. Private consumption shows some pause in signs of picking up backed by the sluggishness in performance of seasonal products due to continuous high temperatures.

[Shikoku] Showing some pause in signs of picking up (no change)
Production remains weak as seen in the weak movement in some businesses in the electrical machinery and other industries. Private consumption shows signs of picking up while some businesses show weak movement.

[Kyushu] Remaining flat (no change)
Regarding production, automobiles remain steady, backed by the effects of newly launched vehicles and other factors, and semiconductor manufacturing equipment is experiencing a recovery trend. Meanwhile, production in some businesses in the general-purpose, production, and business-oriented machinery and other industries continues to show weak movement. Private consumption as a whole is highly variable 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.

Note: The term “upward” means higher performance relative to the previous research results, the term “no change” means performance remains flat, and the term “downward” means lower performance relative to the previous quarter.

Division in Charge

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

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