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All regions but Tohoku improve: BOJ

Kyodo

The Bank of Japan upgraded its assessment Thursday for eight of the country’s nine regional economies compared with three months earlier, citing increased resilience in domestic demand on the back of improving consumer and corporate sentiment as well as a pickup in overseas economies.

All regions except Tohoku noted improvement in their economies as many reported a pickup in private spending and production activities, the central bank said in its quarterly “Sakura Report” on regional economies released after a meeting of the BOJ’s branch managers.

The BOJ kept unchanged its assessment on Tohoku, which was hit hard by the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami, saying that economy has begun to recover.

In its last report released in April, all nine regional economies upwardly revised the assessments.

It is the first time since October 2009 that economies of eight regions or more have been upgraded for the second straight quarter, according to the BOJ.

BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said earlier Thursday the country’s economy is “smoothly following a path of recovery” backed by the aggressive monetary easing policy introduced by the central bank in April.

Among eight regions that raised assessments, five including Hokkaido and the Kanto-Koshinetsu region said the economy has been picking up, while others said it has been picking up moderately or it has begun to pick up.

Five regions upgraded their assessment for public investment as the government promotes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies dubbed “Abenomics” centering on bold monetary easing and large-scale public works projects that have led to a weaker yen and pushed stocks higher.

Six regions lifted the view for the employment and income situation, with many saying it is moderately improving despite the severity, the report said.