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No.178(2015/2/26)
Economic and Labour Situation in Japan (February 2015)

Industrial Production
Industrial production shows signs of increasing at a moderate pace.
In December industrial production increased by 1.0% over the previous month, registering an increase for the first time in two months and up 0.3% year-on-year. The index in December was 98.9 (seasonally adjusted).
Industries that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) electronic parts and devices, (2) information and communication electronics equipment, and (3) chemicals (excl. drugs), in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase by 6.3% in January and decrease by 1.8% in February.

Family Income and Expenditure Survey in October
(1) Expenditure for Two-or-More-Person Households
The average monthly consumption expenditure per two-or-more-person household in December was 332,363 yen, down 0.6% in nominal terms and down 3.4% in real terms year-on-year.
(2) Income and Expenditure for Workers' Households
The average monthly income per household stood at 924,911 yen, up 2.1% in nominal terms but down 0.8% in real terms year-on-year.
The average consumption expenditure was 357,772 yen, down 0.2% in nominal terms and down 3.0% in real terms year-on-year.
The three-point consumption tax hike last April has continued to put a drag on household spending.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in December was 63.57 million, an increase of 380,000, or 0.6%, over the previous year.
(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in December was 2.1 million, a decrease of 150,000, or 6.7%, from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December was 3.4%, an improvement of 0.1 point from the previous month.

(10,000 persons)
  December figures Change from previous year
      (%)
Population aged 15 years or over 11,080 –5 –0.0
Labour force 6,567 23 0.4
Employed persons 6,357 38 0.6
Employees 5,645 62 1.1
Unemployed persons 210 –15 –6.7
Not in labour force 4,508 –31 –0.7
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.3 0.3
Employment rate (%) 57.4 0.4
Unemployment rate, original series (%) 3.2 –0.2
  Current month Change from previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted (%) 3.4 –0.1

Labour Force Survey 2014 Yearly Average Results

(10,000 persons)
  Actual figures

Change from 2013

      (%)
Population aged 15 years or over 11,082 -6 -0.1
Labour force 6,587 10 0.2
  Employed persons 6,351 40 0.6
  Employees 5,595 42 0.8
  Unemployed persons 236 -29 -10.9
Not in labour force 4,489 -17 -0.4
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.4 0.1 -
Employment rate (%) 57.3 0.4 -
Unemployment rate (%) 3.6 -0.4 -

Japan's job availability improved 0.03 points over the previous month in December to reach its best level in over 22 and a half years, with the ratio of job offers to jobseekers standing at 1.15. This figure means that there were 115 jobs available for every 100 jobseekers.

Consumer Prices
The consumer price index in December was 103.3 (2010 = 100), up 0.1% over the previous month and up 2.4% over the same month of the previous year. The yearly average index of consumer prices was 102.8 (2010 = 100), up 2.7% over the previous year.

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