Japan Nov. economic index up for 2nd month in row, pace quickens

© Kyodo News

A key index reflecting the state of the Japanese economy in November rose at the second quickest pace since comparable data became available in January 1985 due to a recovery in automobile production, government data showed Tuesday.

The Cabinet Office's coincident index of business conditions for the reporting month advanced 3.8 points to 93.6 for the second consecutive month of increase against the 2015 base of 100. It was up 1.1 points in October, when Japan's latest coronavirus state of emergency was lifted.

The pace of increase in November equals that logged in October 2020 and marks the biggest since June 2020.

Despite the fast growth, the office maintained its assessment that the domestic economy is "weakening" for the third straight month, based on its latest three-month moving average.

By components, month-on-month growth in the index of shipments of durable consumer goods, including cars, jumped 33.0 percent, contributing the most to the overall advance. Indexes for producer's shipments and industrial production also rose, led by increases in auto-related goods such as engines.

Japanese automakers were showing some recovery from supply chain disruptions since last summer, when factories in Southeast Asian countries, a major production hub, were closed amid a surge in coronavirus infections there, a government official told reporters.

Meanwhile, retail sales value increased 1.9 percent from a year earlier in the reporting month after the Oct. 1 lifting of the state of emergency, in which were asked people to refrain from nonessential outings.

The leading index of business conditions, forecasting the situation in the coming months, rose 1.5 points to 103.0 in the reporting month, following a 1.3 point increase in October.