The Bank of Japan on Tuesday raised its assessments for four of the country’s nine regional economies amid robust demand for exports and firm private consumption.
The central bank upgraded its evaluations of Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Kinki and Chugoku but kept unchanged its assessments of the other five regional economies.
Strong global demand for components used in smartphones and automobiles was a boon for regions with large manufacturing bases. The BOJ described the Tokai region, home of Toyota Motor Corp., as “expanding,” the strongest language it has used for any region in more than a decade.
Private consumption picked up in some regions amid a willingness to spend more at restaurants and on luxury items such as wristwatches, according to the report.
Of the five regions for which assessments were left unchanged, the BOJ described Hokkaido with a relatively weak “recovering” — suggesting economic expansion has been patchy despite the central bank’s ultraeasy monetary policy.
The BOJ releases the “Sakura Report,” named for its cherry blossom-colored cover, after quarterly meetings of the central bank’s regional branch managers. It is the Japanese equivalent of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Beige Book.