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BOJ raises economic views on 4 regions / Reflects stronger exports, production, personal spending

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Bank of Japan said Tuesday it has upgraded its economic assessments for four of the country’s nine regions while maintaining those for the other five.

The upward revisions reflect stronger exports, production and personal spending, as well as a rise in public investment, including in projects related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, according to a quarterly report adopted at a meeting of the BOJ’s local branch managers.

The Tokai region’s economy was assessed as “expanding,” the rosiest view since April 2007, compared with “expanding moderately” in the previous report.

“There have been favorable effects on exports and production of machinery and information technology products,” said Shinichi Uchida, head of the Nagoya branch in Tokai.

“The trend since the Lehman shock has changed,” Uchida said, referring to the sluggishness after the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

For the Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki and Chugoku regions, the BOJ raised its assessments to “expanding moderately.”

“Economic growth has become firmer, reducing recession risks,” Kimihiro Eto, manager of the Osaka branch in Kinki, said.

The number of regional economies viewed as expanding, moderately or not, was unchanged at six.

“All regions are heading in good directions, albeit at different paces,” Yoshikazu Morimoto, chief of the BOJ’s regional economic research division, said.

In the October report, the central bank said that labor shortages have prompted companies to hire foreign workers and convert nonregular employees to regular staff.

Companies are facing increasing pressure to raise wages for part-timers and dispatched workers, while remaining slow to boost pay for regular employees, the BOJ also said.Speech

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