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.