Kansai Economic Insight Monthly Vol. 81 (January 2020)
Summary: Kansai’s economy is deteriorating but likely to level off
▶ Production: Production declined for the second consecutive month in November.
▶ International trade: Although Kansai logged a trade surplus in December, both exports and imports kept shrinking.
▶ Business confidence: The Economy Watcher DI improved in December. Hopwever, it remains low.
▶ Wages: Both nominal and real wages kept declining in October.
▶ Labor market: In November, the effective job offers-to-applicants ratio deteriorated. Although the unemployment rate decreased , the labor force population shrank for the first time in two months.
▶ Consumption: Large retailers’ revenues kept declining in November. The effect of the consumption tax hike has not worn off completely.
▶ Housing: The number of new housing starts in November decreased for the fourth month in a row.
▶ Construction: Construction investments marked the the 21st straight month of expansion in November.
▶ Inbound tourism: The number of international arrivals at Kansai International Airport in December declined for the first time in 15 months.
▶ Chinese economy: China’s GDP expanded +6.1% in 2019, reaching the lower bound of the government’s target. Although China and the US signed a “phase one” trade deal in January 2020, structural problems will remain a major issue.