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ECONOMY > Economic Indicators

Japan’s April composite economic index at highest level in over 9 yrs

  • June 7, 2017
  • , Kyodo News , 8:13 p.m.
  • English Press

Japan’s key composite index of economic indicators rose in April to the highest level in nine years and two months, boosted by robust car and smartphone component production, the government said Wednesday.


The government retained its basic assessment of the economy as “improving” in the preliminary report issued by the Cabinet Office.


The government has maintained the upbeat view since December 2012, last month surpassing the 51-month stretch from 1986 to 1991 during the asset-inflated “bubble economy.”


The index of coincident indicators, such as industrial production, retail sales and new job offers, was up 3.3 points from March at 117.7, against the 2010 base of 100, the office said.


The index rose for the first time in two months and marked the largest gain on a monthly basis since March 1989, as companies moved forward production schedules ahead of the Golden Week holidays from late April to early May.


Separate government data showed in May that Japan’s economy grew in the first quarter of 2017, marking the longest period of growth in about 11 years, on the back of robust exports and a recovery in private consumption.


Demand for smartphone components remained solid in China in April, while automobile and auto parts production grew due to robust domestic sales, according to the office.


Retail sales also contributed to the rise of the index due to firm demand for clothing as temperatures increased, but sales at wholesalers worsened, the office said.


Meanwhile, the index of leading indicators, which predicts developments in the coming few months, was down 1.2 points at 104.5, while that of lagging indicators, measuring economic performance in the recent past, fell 0.5 point to 116.2.

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