• Kyodo News


The Finance Ministry said Wednesday all 11 of its regional bureaus reported a recovery trend in their areas in the January-March period for the sixth consecutive quarter and upgraded its view of the economy in Okinawa.

The sixth straight quarterly stretch is the longest recovery trend reported by all of the bureaus since the 11 quarters from 1987 to 1991 during the asset-inflated bubble economy.

“The economy continues to post a moderate recovery, though there are some regional disparities,” the ministry said in a report on regional economies, leaving its assessment unchanged from the report for the October-December period.

The latest report anticipates the overall economy will register solid growth in the coming months while developments in crude oil prices need to be carefully monitored.

The ministry raised its view of the economy in Okinawa for the first time in six quarters, citing robust tourism — a key industry for the prefecture — as well as firm private consumption.

The report says the economy in Okinawa “is recovering as a whole,” compared with “continues to recovery moderately as a whole” in the previous report released in January.

The ministry left its view on the other 10 regional economies unchanged from the previous report.

The economy in the Tokai region, centering on Nagoya, was “on an expansion trend,” backed by tight labor conditions and solid private consumption, the report says.

Breaking down the numbers, however, the ministry revised slightly downward the assessment on output in the region from “at high levels and growing” to “stays at high levels,” reflecting sluggish automobile sales, a ministry official said.

On the other hand, it revised slightly upward its view on personal spending in the Tokai region.

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