The economic outlook in the Kansai region remains grim despite a few positive signs in recent months, such as increased public works spending and a rise in sales of certain products, head of Bank of Japan’s Osaka branch said Monday.

Minoru Masubuchi was attending a quarterly meeting of BOJ branch managers. Managers of the bank’s 33 branches in Japan as well as representatives from its London, New York and Hong Kong offices, attended the meeting.

Masubuchi said during a news conference that such products as personal computers, audio products and light vehicles are selling well in his jurisdiction — Osaka, Nara and Wakayama prefectures. He added that public works spending included in the government’s economic package is spurring investment in public works projects.

But a grim employment situation and low equipment investment by corporations are making the long-term future of the region’s economy uncertain, he said.

Masubuchi declined comment on recent news reports criticizing his extravagant bank-subsidized residence.

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