• Kyodo


Japan’s key index of indicators designed to show the current state of the economy rose in November to its highest level in two years and eight months, with industrial output and consumption improving, the government said Wednesday.

The index of coincident indicators, such as industrial output, retail sales and new job offers, rose 1.6 points from October to 115.1, against the 2010 base of 100, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report.

The figure was the highest since March 2014, a month before the 3 percentage-point consumption tax hike to 8 percent in April that hurt household spending and business investment at home, choking economic growth.

The government kept unchanged its basic assessment of the coincident index, saying it suggests the economy is “improving.” The assessment is defined as indicating the likelihood of economic expansion.

In November, the nation’s industrial output grew a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent from a month earlier, as a weaker yen and a recovery in the U.S. economy prompted export-oriented manufacturers to boost production, the government said.

The yen has fallen more than 10 percent against the U.S. dollar since the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election, as U.S. Treasury yields have been rising with speculation that the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump may expand government spending, causing higher inflation in the United States.

A falling yen usually props up the country’s export-oriented economy by making Japanese products cheaper abroad and bolsters the value of overseas revenues in yen terms.

Private spending also showed signs of bouncing back in November with the employment situation picking up on the back of expansion in corporate profits. Sales at wholesalers jumped 5.1 percent from the previous year, while those at retailers climbed 1.9 percent, the government said.

The index of leading indicators, which predicts developments in the coming few months, increased 1.9 points to 102.7. That of lagging indicators, measuring economic performance in the recent past, was down 0.3 point at 112.9.

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