Coincident index up for third month

Kyodo

A key economic index rose in April for the third straight month as expectations grew for recovery in exports on the back of the depreciation of the yen, jacking up stock prices and encouraging companies to boost production, the government said Friday.

The index of coincident indicators, such as industrial output, retail sales and new job offers, climbed to 94.8 from 93.8 in March, against the 2005 base of 100, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report.

The government left its basic assessment of the index unchanged for the third month in a row, saying it indicates the economy has “bottomed out.”

The results, however, were based on economic data in April, when the Bank of Japan, under the new leadership of Haruhiko Kuroda, introduced a set of monetary easing measures, including additional purchases of government bonds, which drove down the yen and bolstered Tokyo share prices.