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No.20(2010/4/7)
The Economic and Labour Situation in Japan

* Industrial Production in February
Dragged by sluggish demand for transport and telecommunications equipment, industrial production in Japan, the world's second biggest economy, fell for the first time in a year in February. According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, industrial production decreased 0.9% from a month earlier. Inventories rose 1% over the previous month, while shipments slipped 0.2%, the ministry said. The government predicts production will climb 1.4% in March before falling slightly again in April.

* Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
The government announced that Japan's unemployment rate stood at 4.9% in February---unchanged from the previous month. The number of jobless rose 8.4% from a year earlier to 3.24 million, while the number of those employed fell 1.3% to 61.85 million.

The ratio of job offers to job seekers stood at a seasonally adjusted 0.47 in February, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. That means there were 47 positions available for every 100 job seekers.

* Family Income and Expenditure Monthly Survey February 2010
The government announced that household spending fell 0.5% in February from a year earlier. The result marks the first decline in seven months.
As for workers' households, the average monthly income per household stood at 464,866 yen, up 1.3% in real terms over the previous year.

The average consumption expenditure was 261,163 yen, down 2.2% in real terms from the previous year.

* Consumer Price Index
The consumer price index in February was 99.2 (2005=100), down 1.2% over the year, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

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