Japan’s key composite index of economic indicators fell in May following a rise in the previous month, data showed Monday, prompting the government to downgrade its assessment of the nation’s economy for the first time in nine months.
The index of coincident indicators, such as industrial output, retail sales and new job offers, dropped 1.8 points from the previous month to 109.2 against the 2010 base of 100, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report. The government cut its basic assessment of the index from “improving” to “pausing.”
The fall largely reflected sluggish performances of auto parts wholesalers as a result of slower exports of cars. Lackluster manufacturing-linked data such as industrial output were also behind the fall in the coincident indicators, a Cabinet Office official said.
In the reporting month, the index of leading indicators, which predicts developments in the coming few months, shed 0.2 point to 106.2 for the first decline in three months.
Meanwhile, the index of lagging indicators, measuring economic performance in the recent past, gained 0.6 point for the second straight monthly increase to 125.8.