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Economic and Labour Situation in Japan (September 2014)

The Japanese economy remained weak in July as industrial production stagnated and household spending dropped. The consumer price index showed inflation to be flat.
Industrial Production
Industrial production in July increased by 0.2% over the previous month, which was the first increase in two months but down 0.9% year-on-year. The index in July was 96.8 (seasonally adjusted).
Industries that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) general-purpose, production, and business-oriented machinery, (2) petroleum and coal products, and (3) textiles, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase by 1.3% in August and by 3.5% in September.

Family Income and Expenditure Survey in July
The three-point consumption tax hike in April has continued to put a drag on household spending.
(1) Expenditure for Two-or-More-Person Households
The average monthly consumption expenditure per two-or-more-person household in July was 280,293 yen, down 2.0% in nominal terms and down 5.9% in real terms year-on-year following a substantial 3.0% drop in June.
(2) Income and Expenditure for Workers' Households
The average monthly income per household stood at 555,276 yen, down 2.4% in nominal terms and down 6.2% in real terms year-on-year.
The average consumption expenditure was 311,693 yen, up 0.4% in nominal terms and down 3.6% in real terms year-on-year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in July was 63.57 million, an increase of 460,000, or 0.7%, over the same month in the previous year.
(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in July was 2.48 million, a decrease of 700,000, or 2.7%, from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 3.8% in July, up 0.1 point over the previous month as more people began looking for jobs.

(10,000 persons)
  July figures Change from previous year
Population aged 15 years or over 11,085 –3 0.0
Labour force 6,604 38 0.6
Employed persons 6,357 46 0.7
Employees 5,600 53 1.0
Unemployed persons 248 –7 –2.7
Not in labour force 4,474 –43 –1.0
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.6 0.4
Employment rate (%) 57.3 0.4
Unemployment rate, original series (%) 3.8 –0.1
  Current month Change from previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted (%) 3.8 0.1

Japan's job availability in July remained at its highest level in over 22 years. Job availability was the same as the previous month, with the ratio of job offers to jobseekers standing at 1.10. This figure means that there were 110 jobs available for every 100 jobseekers.
Consumer Prices
The consumer price index in July was 103.4 (2010 = 100), the same level as the previous month and up 3.4% over the same month of the previous year.

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