BOJ Raises Economic View of All Regions, First Time Since 2009

The Bank of Japan raised its economic evaluation of all regions for the first time in more than two years, citing improvements in consumer spending and rebuilding demand from last year’s earthquake.

This is the first time the bank has raised the evaluation of all 9 regions since October 2009, the central bank said in a briefing after it released its quarterly Sakura Report, the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, in Tokyo today. The report groups the nation’s 47 prefectures into nine geographic regions.

Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said earlier today the economy is starting to pick up, pledging to pursue appropriate policy as the bank promotes powerful monetary easing. The bank will review its forecasts for growth and inflation for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years at the policy meeting next week.

“It’s difficult to see any need for urgent additional easing, considering the soundness of the domestic economy at this point,” said Akio Makabe, an economics professor at Shinshu University in central Japan. At the meeting next week, “the BOJ will probably gauge the effect of stimulus measures already implemented while it will keep paying close attention” to developments abroad, he said.

Seven of the nine regions cited personal spending supported by government incentives to buy automobiles as well as rebuilding demand as reasons for improvement, according to today’s report.

“Many regions noted that the economy had been recovering moderately or picking up, while some regions noted that the economy continued to pause generally although there were signs of picking up,” the report said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Toru Fujioka in Tokyo at tfujioka1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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