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The Economic and Labour Situation in Japan (September 2012)

Industrial Production
Industrial production appears to be flat. In July 2012 it decreased 1.2% from the previous month, registering a decline for the first time in two months and down 1.0% year-on-year. The index in July was 91.5 (seasonally adjusted).
Industries that mainly contributed to the decrease were as follows: (1) electronic parts and devices, (2) general machinery, and (3) precision instruments, in that order.
Commodities that mainly contributed to the decrease were as follows: (1) metal oxide semiconductor ICs (memory), (2) parts and accessories of steam turbines, and (3) large active matrix LCDs (liquid crystal displays), in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase by 0.1% in August and to decrease by 3.3% in September. This survey is a useful economic indicator reflecting changing business conditions and providing clues as to where the economy might be heading in the near future.

Family Income and Expenditure Survey in July
(1) Expenditure for Two-or-More-Person Households
The average monthly consumption expenditure per two-or-more-person household for July 2012 was 283,295 yen, up 1.2% in nominal terms and up 1.7% in real terms year-on-year.
(2) Income and Expenditures for Workers' Households
The average monthly income per household stood at 557,032 yen, down 2.7% in nominal terms and down 2.2% in real terms year-on-year.
The average consumption expenditure was 312,592 yen, up 1.0% in nominal terms and up 1.5% in real terms year-on-year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in July 2012 was 62.77 million, a decrease of 90,000, or 0.1%, from the same month in the previous year.
(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in July 2012 was 2.88 million, a decrease of 240,000, or 7.7%, from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.3%, the same level as in the previous month.

(10,000 persons)
  July figures Change from previous year
Population aged 15 years or over 11,098 -17 -0.2
Labour force 6,565 -35 -0.5
Employed persons 6,277 -9 -0.1
Employees 5,497 33 0.6
Unemployed persons 288 -24 -7.7
Not in labour force 4,530 15 0.3
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.2 -0.1 -
Employment rate (%) 56.6 0.1 -
Unemployment rate, original series (%) 4.4 -0.3 -
  Current month Change from previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted (%) 4.3 0.0 -

According to a separate report released by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, job availability improved slightly in July, with the ratio of job offers to job seekers standing at 0.83, up 0.01 points over the previous month and registering an improvement for the fourteenth consecutive month. This figure means that there were 83 jobs available for every 100 job seekers.

Consumer Prices
The consumer price index for Japan in July 2012 was 99.3 (2010=100), down 0.3% from the previous month and down 0.4% from the same month in the previous year.

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