Japan Jan leading indicator index falls to 30.0

TOKYO - Japan’s index of leading economic indicators fell to a preliminary 30.0 in January from 50.0 in December, the government said on Thursday, pointing to a contraction in the months ahead.

By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 6 Mar 2008, 1:01 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:16 PM

A reading above 50 suggests a coming economic expansion, while a reading below 50 indicates a slowdown.

The coincident index, which gauges current economic conditions, fell to 22.2 in January from 63.6 in December, prompting the government to downgrade its view on the index.

An official from the Cabinet Office, which releases the data, told reporters that the coincident index was now “one step forward and one step back” -- downgrading from its previous view that the index showed signs of improvement.

He said the downgrade was mainly due to weakness in production-related components in the index.

Japan’s economy has been in its longest postwar expansionary cycle but has received a bag of weak economic data over the past few months, including a decline in industrial output.

Some economists say the growth cycle may have ended late last year and the economy could be slipping into a downtrend.

The leading index is compiled using data such as the number of new job offers, consumer sentiment and Tokyo share prices.

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