Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Bank of Japan released the latest quarterly regional economic report on Thursday, giving stronger assessments of the Shikoku and Kyushu-Okinawa regions, but a weaker view of Hokkaido.
In the latest report, adopted at a meeting of the BOJ’s regional branch managers, six of all nine regional economies were assessed as “expanding” or “expanding moderately,” including Shikoku and Kyushu-Okinawa, the same as in the previous report, released in January.
The report said that a virtuous economic circle has been maintained in the country. The labor supply-demand balance has continued to tighten and personal spending is improving, while exports are on an uptrend against a backdrop of steady growth of overseas economies, it noted.
According to the April report, the Shikoku economy “has been recovering,” instead of “has continued to recover moderately,” as stated in the previous report.
The Kyushu-Okinawa economy “has been expanding moderately, with its growth gaining a more solid footing,” the BOJ said. The phrase after the comma was added to the latest report.
The upgrades for the two regions reflect improvements in private consumption, the BOJ said.
The Hokkaido economy “has been recovering moderately,” it said. The word “moderately” was not included in the January report.
It was the first time since January 2015 that the economic assessment has been lowered for Hokkaido.
The downward revision was “due mainly to public investment having turned downward,” reflecting a fall in reconstruction projects related to a major typhoon disaster in summer 2016.