Japan raises economic assessment as industrial output, exports increase

16:47, April 21, 2010      

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Japan's Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Wednesday raised its view of the nation's regional economies for the first time in two quarters, as industrial production and exports picked up due to strong overseas demand.

"Though the economy is in a severe state, it is showing signs of picking up", the ministry said in its quarterly report for January through March, adding, "there are signs of recovery especially in production activity."

The report revealed that as well as industrial output increasing on the back of increased foreign demand for vehicles and machines, the quarterly survey also showed some improvement in consumer confidence due to the government's stimulus measures as well as in employment conditions, the ministry said.

The MOF's quarterly report collates data on regional economies from the ministry's 11 branches around Japan.

During the quarterly regional evaluations, finance ministry branches in the Tohoku, Kanto, Hokuriku, Kinki and Chugoku regions upgraded their assessments, while the remaining six locations kept their views unchanged.

The ministry's Kanto bureau, which oversees the greater Tokyo metropolitan area, raised its assessment, saying "the economy is picking up although the pace of recovery differs from industry to industry and employment conditions remain tight."



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