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The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Monday it has revised downward from October its economic assessment for eight out of 10 regions polled in a February survey.

In an overall view, the ministry said the regional economies are at a recovery pause, with some weak movements seen.

Corporate profits are in a recovery trend, particularly in the manufacturing sector on the back of firm exports of automobiles to North America and Asia, METI said.

At the same time, gaps among regions and industries are growing, and small and midsize firms generally remain severe, it said.

Of the eight, the economies for the Tohoku, Hokuriku and Kinki regions “show a pause in recovery,” compared with a “gradual recovery” or “signs of gradual recovery” in the previous survey, METI said.

The ministry downgraded its assessment for five regions — Shikoku, Kyushu, Okinawa and the Kanto and Tokai regions — though they remain in positive assessments.

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