The government said Tuesday it has revised downward its key economic gauge for March due to weak production data.

The Cabinet Office said the index of coincident indicators was revised to 11.1 percent for March from a preliminary 14.3 percent, reflecting sluggish activity.

A reading above 50 percent is considered a sign of economic expansion, while a reading below that is believed to indicate a contraction.

The office attributed the revision mainly to poor production data, such as the utilization rate in the manufacturing sector and its consumption of raw materials.

The index of leading indicators, a measure of economic growth six to nine months down the road, was revised downward to 20 percent from a preliminary 25 percent as a result of a dip in private-sector machinery orders and a rise in manufacturers’ inventories.

“The future course of the economy still needs to be watched carefully,” a Cabinet Office official said.

The index of lagging indicators, which gauges economic performance in the recent past, was revised upward to 41.7 percent from a preliminary 30 percent due to positive data on inventories.

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