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The Economic and Labour Situation in Japan (July 2012)

Industrial Production
Industrial production in May 2012 decreased 3.1% from the previous month, registering a decrease for the second consecutive month but up 6.2% year-on-year. The index in May was 92.4 (seasonally adjusted).
Industries that mainly contributed to the decrease were as follows: (1) transport equipment, (2) chemicals (excluding drugs), and (3) general machinery, in that order.
Commodities that mainly contributed to the decrease were as follows: (1) large passenger cars, (2) large trucks, and (3) small passenger cars, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase by 2.7% in June and 2.4% in July 2012. This survey is a useful economic indicator reflecting changing business conditions and providing clues as to where the economy might be heading in the near future.

Annual Average Monthly Consumption Expenditure in May
(1) Expenditure for Two-or-More-Person Households
The average monthly consumption expenditure per two-or-more-person household for May 2012 was 287,911 yen, up 4.3% in nominal terms and up 4.0% in real terms year-on-year.
(2) Income and Expenditures for Workers' Households
The average monthly income per household stood at 417,723 yen, up 1.0% in nominal terms and up 0.7% in real terms year-on-year.
The average consumption expenditure was 304,653 yen, up 1.2% in nominal terms and up 0.9% in real terms year-on-year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in May 2012 was 62.97 million, a decrease of 300,000, or 0.5%, from the same month in the previous year.

(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in May 2012 was 2.97 million, a decrease of 170,000, or 5.4%, from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.4%, down 0.2 points from the previous month.

(10,000 persons)
  May figures Change from previous year
Population aged 15 years or over 11,092 -25 -0.2
Labour force 6,595 -46 -0.7
Employed persons 6,297 -30 -0.5
Employees 5,494 -37 -0.7
Unemployed persons 297 -17 -5.4
Not in labour force 4,494 21 0.5
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.5 -0.2 -
Employment rate (%) 56.8 -0.1 -
Unemployment rate, original series (%) 4.5 -0.2 -
  Current month Change from previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted (%) 4.4 0.2 -
According to a separate report released by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, job availability improved slightly in May, with the ratio of job offers to job seekers standing at 0.80, up 0.02 points over the previous month and registering improvement for the twelfth consecutive month. This figure means that there were 8 jobs available for every 10 job seekers.

Consumer Prices
The consumer price index for Japan in May 2012 was 100.0 (2010=100), down 0.1% from the previous month and down 0.1% from the same month of the previous year.

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