Regional assessments get upgrade

JIJI

The Finance Ministry raised its economic assessments of eight of the nation’s 11 regions for January-March at a quarterly meeting of local finance bureau chiefs Wednesday.

The upgrades mainly reflect improvements in export conditions and consumer sentiment thanks to the yen’s weakening and a rise in stock prices on the back of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies, known as “Abenomics.”

Against this background, the ministry upgraded its overall assessment of the domestic economy for the first time in three quarters, saying that it is picking up moderately.

However, assessments of three regions — Hokkaido, Tohoku and Kyushu — were left unchanged.

In January-March, vehicle exports to North America were steady.