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Economic and Labour Situation in Japan (September 2013)

The Finance Ministry announced that private capital investment by all nonfinancial sectors rose 0.02% over a year earlier to 8.31 trillion yen in the three months through June, following a 3.9% fall in the previous quarter. The data will affect revisions to Japan's economic growth figures released on September 9. If the gross domestic product is revised upward, it will strengthen the view that the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will go ahead with a consumption tax hike to 8% from the current 5% next April to aid fiscal recovery, with expectations growing that the economy will be able to survive the move. The consumption tax is scheduled to be raised to 10% by October 2015 to cover swelling social security costs caused by the aging of Japan's population.

Industrial Production
Industrial production is showing signs of a moderate recovery.
Industrial production in July increased by 3.2% over the previous month, registering an increase of 1.6% year-on-year. The index in July was 97.7 (seasonally adjusted).
Industries that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) general-purpose production and business-oriented machinery, (2) electronic parts and devices, and (3) transport equipment, in that order.
Commodities that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) metal oxide semiconductor ICs (memory), (2) digital transmission equipment, and (3) midget passenger cars, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase 0.2% in August and 1.7% in September.

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 in July was 286,098 yen, up 1.0% in nominal terms and up 0.1% in real terms year-on-year.
(2) Income and Expenditure for Workers' Households
The average monthly income per household stood at 569,174 yen, up 2.2% in nominal terms and up 1.3% in real terms year-on-year.
The average consumption expenditure was 310,387 yen, down 0.7% in nominal terms and down 1.6% in real terms year-on-year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
The unemployment rate in July was the lowest in more than four years.
(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in July was 63.11 million, an increase of 340,000, or 0.5%, over the same month in the previous year.
(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in July was 2.55 million, a decrease of 330,000, or down 11.5%, from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8%, down 0.3 points from the previous month.

(10,000 persons)
  July figures Change from previous year
Population aged 15 years or over 11,088 -10 -0.1
Labour force 6,566 1 0.0
Employed persons 6,311 34 0.5
Employees 5,547 50 0.9
Unemployed persons 255 -33 -11.5
Not in labour force 4,517 -13 -0.3
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.2 0.0 -
Employment rate (%) 56.9 0.3 -
Unemployment rate, original series (%) 3.9 -0.5 -
  Current month Change from previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted (%) 3.8 -0.1 -

According to a separate report released by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, job availability improved slightly in July 2013, with the ratio of job offers to jobseekers standing at 0.94, up 0.02 point over the previous month. This figure means that there were 94 jobs available for every 100 jobseekers.

Consumer Prices
The consumer price index in July was 100 (2010 = 100), up 0.2% over the previous month and up 0.7% over the same month of the previous year.

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