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ECONOMY > Economic Indicators

Japan March leading economic index posts steepest fall ever

  • May 12, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 7:03 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, May 12 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s composite index of leading economic indicators for March marked its steepest fall since comparable data became available in January 1985, the Cabinet Office said Tuesday.


The leading index, a yardstick for the economy’s performance months ahead, dropped 8.1 points from the previous month to 83.8, against 100 for the base year of 2015, the government agency said in a preliminary report.


The drop reflected significant deterioration of consumer sentiment following the spread of the novel coronavirus and subsequent voluntary restrictions on going out, as well as growth in inventories of durable consumer goods due to nationwide business closures.


The index was also dragged down by falls in commodity indicators and stock prices.


All of the index’s nine underlying indicators made negative contributions.


The composite index of coincident economic indicators, which reflects current economic conditions, sagged 4.9 points to 90.5. The drop was the biggest since March 2011, when the index dropped 6.3 points, hit by the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated coastal areas of the Tohoku northeastern region.


The latest fall was attributable to a worsened employment situation and falls in shipments of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, passenger cars and motorcycles against a backdrop of sluggish overseas economies.


The Cabinet Office said the index was “worsening,” giving the same assessment for the eighth consecutive month.


The index’s seven underlying indicators all contributed to pushing down the index.



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