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Economic and Labour Situation in Japan (May 2013)

Industrial Production
Industrial production shows signs of picking up at a moderate pace.
Industrial production in March 2013 increased by 0.2% over the previous month, registering an increase for the fourth consecutive month; it was down 7.3% year-on-year. The index in March was 89.8 (seasonally adjusted).
Industries that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) chemicals (excl. drugs), (2) electronic parts and devices, and (3) information and communication electronic equipment, in that order.
Commodities that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) active matrix LCDs (liquid crystal devices) medium and small, (2) parts and accessories of steam turbines, and (3) steel bridges, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase 0.8% in April and to decrease 0.3% in May.

Family Income and Expenditure Survey in March
Consumption shows some signs of having bottomed out.
(1) Expenditure for Two-or-More-Person Households
The average monthly consumption expenditure per two-or-more-person household in February 2013 was 316,166 yen, up 4.1% in nominal terms and up 5.2% in real terms year-on-year.
(2) Income and Expenditure for Workers' Households
The average monthly income per household stood at 444,379 yen, up 0.8% in nominal terms and up 1.8% in real terms year-on-year.
The average consumption expenditure was 350,957 yen, up 6.5% in nominal terms and up 7.6% in real terms year-on-year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in March 2013 was 62.42 million, an increase of 310,000, or 0.5%, over the same month in the previous year.

(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in March 2013 was 2.77 million, a decrease of 270,000, or 8.8%, from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1%, down 0.2 points from the previous month.

According to a separate report released by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, job availability improved slightly in March 2013, with the ratio of job offers to jobseekers standing at 0.86, up 0.01 point over the previous month. This figure means that there were 86 jobs available for every 100 jobseekers.

Consumer Prices
The consumer price index in Japan in March 2013 was 99.4 (2010=100), up 0.2% over the previous month and down 0.9% from the same month in the previous year.

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