Kansai Economic Insight Monthly Vol. 83 (March 2020)

Outlook: Kansai’s economy is likely to remain on a downward trajectory

▶  Production: Although production increased in January, it has not recovered from the October-November slump.
▶  International trade: In February, Kansai’s trade deficit turned into a surplus due to the slump in imports from coronavirus-hit China.
▶  Business confidence: The Economy Watcher DI in February reached its lowest level since April 2011 (after the Great East Japan Earthquake).
▶  Wages: Both nominal and real wages kept declining in December.
▶  Labor market: In January, the job offers-to-applicants ratio deteriorated, and the unemployment rate increased.
▶  Private Consumption: Department store and supermarket sales in January kept declining. Duty-free sales plunged -71.9% in February.
▶  Housing: The number of new housing starts decreased in January.
▶  Construction: Construction investments kept expanding in January, but the growth is decelerating. The contract amount for public works projects in February decreased.
▶   Inbound tourism: Due to the impact of the coronavirus, the number of international arrivals at Kansai International Airport in February slumped -66.0% year-on-year.
▶  Chinese economy: Coronavirus-hit China saw its manufacturing PMI drop to a historic low of 35.7 in February, a level lower than the one registered during the Global Financial Crisis.