The tertiary industry activity index gained 2.2 percent in 2004 from the previous year for the second straight yearly rise, with the index registering its highest score since 1988, the government said Wednesday.

The index stood at 104.1 against the base of 100 for 2000, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report.

The index for all 11 sectors gained ground in the reporting year.

The 11 sectors are services, financial services, medical and welfare, wholesale and retail sales, utilities, real estate, cram schools, mail delivery and postal savings, transport, restaurants and hotels, and information and telecommunications.

The index of all industrial activity, a supply-side gauge of economic growth, rose 2.3 percent in 2004 from the previous year for the second consecutive yearly increase on the back of firm industrial production and positive readings for the tertiary industry activity, METI said.

The index came to 101.9 for 2004, posting its highest score since 1988.

The index is considered a close proxy for gross domestic product.

In December, the tertiary industry activity index stood at a seasonally adjusted 104.7, unchanged from November.

A gain in the index for the information and telecommunications sector due to steady demand for software for financial institutions and government organizations was offset by falls in the mail delivery and postal savings and financial sectors.

The index of all industry activity slipped 0.3 percent to 101.8 after a 0.2 percent rise in November.

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