Japan’s key index of indicators designed to show the current state of the economy rose to its highest level in five years and four months in November, due to improvements in the job market and private consumption, the government said Friday.
The index of coincident indicators, such as industrial output, retail sales and new job offers, inched up 0.1 point on the month to 110.5 against the 2010 base of 100, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report.
In November, Japan’s job availability rose to 1.00, its best level in six years. It was the first time the ratio had climbed to 1.00 — which means the number of positions that firms tried to fill equaled the number of job seekers — since October 2007, before the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. triggered an economic crisis.
An official of the Cabinet Office said increased household spending on winter clothes also contributed to the rise in the index.
The government kept its basic assessment of the coincident index unchanged from October, saying it indicates the economy is “improving.”
The index of leading indicators, which predicts developments in the coming few months, increased 1.0 point to 110.8, marking the highest level since May 2007, as sales of goods such as automobiles expanded ahead of a planned sales tax hike in April from the current 5 percent to 8 percent.
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