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BOJ raises assessments on majority of regional economies in post-quake Japan

07-04-2011 16:42 BJT

TOKYO, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) raised its assessments for the majority of the nation's regional economies on Monday, in its July quarterly economic report signaling Japan's economy is recovering from the economic fallout caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated east and northeast regions of Japan.

According to the central bank's Sakura Report, seven out of nine regions had their economic assessments upgraded from the previous quarter, as an easing of supply-side constraints and an improvement in household and business sentiment supported an upturn, according to Japan's central bank's report.

Two other regions held their views unchanged from the central bank's previous report in April.

"Most regions reported that production was increasing or was picking up as supply-side constraints had been easing, despite a significant decline after the earthquake," the report said.

The majority of "regions pointed to the easing of supply-side constraints, and therefore, they reported that many industries, including motor vehicles and parts, electrical machinery, and general machinery, had shown signs of raising their production levels," said the report.

The report did highlight however the differences in the pace of the economic pick-up, most notably in the quake-affected Tohoku and Kanto-Koshinetsu regions in which the bank described the situation as "severe."

Public investment in the Tohoku region was above the previous year's level, and the Kanto-Koshinetsu region reported that the pace of decline in investments had been slowing.

But Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa, according to the Sakura Report, have seen public investment on a continued downswing.

Seven regions reported that business fixed investment was picking up, on increased demand for investment in new products for restoration and all regions reported that private consumption had shown "some signs of picking up against the backdrop of improving consumer sentiment in addition to the easing of supply-side constraints."

In addition, while the report showed that many regions reported that the employment and income situation had remained severe, all regions reported signs of a pick-up or bottoming out at large retail stores due to an improvement in consumer sentiment.

The four regions of Hokkaido, Tokai, Shikoku, and Kyushu- Okinawa saw housing investment picking up and the Hokuriku and Chugoku regions also reported that housing investment had stopped declining.

But the Tohoku region, particularly devastated by the quake and tsunami, saw limited investments in housing, as was the case in Kanto-Koshinetsu. Similarly, the Kinki region reported that housing investment had been relatively weak, due mainly to the effects of the disaster, the central banks's report said.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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