Friday, March 15, 2013
DJ: Japan Govt Upgrades Econ View For 3rd Straight Month In March Report
TOKYO--The Japanese government upgraded its assessment of the domestic economy for the third straight month in March, saying it was "showing movements of picking up," as industrial production and corporate profits all showed signs of improvement.
In its monthly report released Friday, the government raised its assessment of industrial production, corporate earnings, capital investment and employment. It said economic recovery is "expected to resume gradually, supported by the improvement of confidence, the improvement of export conditions and the effect of the policy package and monetary policy."
"The Japanese economy is showing movements of picking up recently, while weakness can be seen in some areas," the report said, adding that share prices have been rising on expectations of economic recovery.
It was the first time since May and July 2009, when the economy was recovering from the aftermath the global financial crisis, that the report has seen three consecutive upgrades. The previous report for February has said the "economy has bottomed out."
"While there remains some weakness in overseas demand, we still see improvements in production and employment," said a government official briefing reporters Thursday.
The report comes as Japan's parliament was set to approve all three government nominees for the new Bank of Japan leadership.
Market participants expect the likely BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda to step up easing measures by the central bank.
The former Finance Ministry bureaucrat has said he would do whatever it takes to achieve the central bank's 2% inflation target, including purchasing risk assets and longer-term government bonds. Expectations are high that he will roll out fresh easing steps at the BOJ's next policy board meeting in early April.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised to lift the nation out of deflation through aggressive monetary policy, helping to weaken the yen and lift share prices.
The report said the government expects the central bank to "pursue aggressive monetary easing in order to achieve the price stability target of 2% at the earliest possible time."