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Global Business Cycle Indicators

Japan

Press Release Archive

Released: Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Japan increased 0.1 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.6 percent in January.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Japan edged up in January. Large positive contributions from the six-month growth rate of labor productivity and new orders for machinery and construction more than offset the negative contributions from the Tankan business conditions survey and dwelling units started. The leading economic index increased by 2.2 percent (about a 4.4 percent annual rate) from July 2014 to January 2015, a reversal from its decrease of 3.4 percent (about a −6.7 percent annual rate) over the first half of last year. Moreover, the strengths among the leading indicators have become more widespread than the weaknesses.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Japan, a measure of current economic activity, increased in four out of the past six months, with industrial production being one of the largest positive contributors. As a result, the six-month growth rate of the coincident economic index improved to 1.4 percent (about a 2.9 percent annual rate) a turnaround from the decline of 1.8 percent (about a −3.6 percent annual rate) over the first half of last year. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators have become more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 1.5 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2014, after contracting at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the third quarter.
  • The Conference Board LEI and CEI for Japan have improved moderately since mid-2014, after having declined throughout the first half of last year. Taken together, the behavior of both indexes suggests that the current improvement in economic conditions should continue in the short-term, although the pace of recovery will likely be modest.

LEADING INDICATORS. Eight of the ten components that make up The Conference Board LEI for Japan increased in January. The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include the six-month growth rate of labor productivity, the new orders for machinery and construction component*, real money supply, the index of overtime worked, real operating profits*, the (inverted) business failures, stock prices, and the interest rate spread. The negative contributors – in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – include the Tankan business conditions survey and dwelling units started.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in January, The Conference Board LEI for Japan now stands at 103.8 (2010=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in December and increased 0.6 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the index increased 2.2 percent, and nine of the ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 90.0 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Japan increased in January. The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include industrial production, wage and salary income and the retail, wholesale, and manufacturing sales* component. Number of employed persons declined in January.

With the increase of 0.6 percent in January, The Conference Board CEI for Japan now stands at 98.8 (2010=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in December and decreased 0.1 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the index increased 1.4 percent, and all four components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent).

DATA AVAILABILITY AND NOTES. The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Japan and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Japan reported in this release are those available “as of” 10:30 A.M. ET March 11, 2015. Some series are estimated as noted below.

* The series in The Conference Board LEI that are based on our estimates are the six-month growth rate of labor productivity and real operating profits. The series in The Conference Board CEI that is based on our estimates is real manufacturing sales.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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