• Kyodo

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Japan’s key composite index of economic indicators, reflecting the current state of the economy, fell in July for the first time in two months, the government said Monday, reflecting a slowdown in manufacturing activity.

The index of coincident indicators, such as industrial output, retail sales and new job offers, dropped 0.1 points from the previous month to 112.2 against the 2010 base of 100, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report.

Contributing to the slight decline were weak production and shipments in the electronic parts and devices sectors, according to a Cabinet Office official.

Other components, such as a shipments index of small and medium-sized manufacturers and an indicator of wholesale sales, also contributed to pushing down the coincident index.

The government maintained its basic assessment of the coincident index as “pausing” for the third consecutive month.

In the reporting month, the index of leading indicators, which predicts developments in the coming months, shed 1.6 points to 104.9, dropping for the first time in five months.

Meanwhile, the index of lagging indicators, measuring economic performance in the recent past, was up 0.1 points at 115.7 for the second consecutive monthly increase.

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