— Japan July Prelim Coincident CI -1.3 Pt M/M; MNI Fcast -1.4
— Japan July Coincident CI Posts 4th Straight Monthly Fall
— Japan Govt Maintains View: CI Shows Economy Is Marking Time
— Japan July Prelim Leading CI -1.4 Pt M/M; MNI Fcast -1.2 Pt
— Japan July Leading CI Posts 4th Straight M/M Fall

TOKYO (MNI) – Japan’s coincident composite index (CI), which
reflects current business conditions, fell for a fourth straight month
in July, hit by concerns about the fading impact of fiscal programs,
preliminary Cabinet Office data showed Friday.

The coincident CI fell 1.3 points to 92.8 after dipping by 1.7
points in June.

The consensus forecast among economists polled by MNI was for a
1.4-point fall.

In July, nine out of the 11 sub-indexes comprising the coincident
index fell, led by industrial output and shipments, overtime hours
worked and large-lot power usage.

The Cabinet Office maintained its overall assessment, saying the
composite index shows that “the economy is marking time.”

Last month, it downgraded its view for the first time since March

Economists have warned of downside risks stemming from the waning
impact of policy stimulus, especially in the auto and housing sectors.

New vehicle sales rose just 7.3% on year to 232,372 units in
August, as the pace of increase decelerated from rises of 36.1% in July,
40.9% in June, 66.3% in May, 92.0% in April and 78.2% in March,
according to the latest industry data.

In December the government revived subsidies for buying
low-emission vehicles, but the program is scheduled to be terminated in

Meanwhile, housing starts in Japan fell 9.6% on the year to 75,421
units in July, a second straight fall, as the land ministry in July
stopped receiving applications for reward points, which are given to
owners of greener homes under construction or those being renovated to
save energy consumption.

The composite index was set at 100 in the 2005 base year.

Other details from the latest data follow:

The leading composite index, which measures the state of the
economy three months ahead: July 91.8 (-1.4 points m/m) vs. June 93.2
(-2.0 points), posting a fourth straight fall.

The lagging CI, which reflects economic conditions three months
ago: July 86.3 (-0.3 point m/m) vs. June 86.6 (+0.1 point), the first
fall in three months.

** MNI Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-6480-4821 **

[TOPICS: M$J$$$,M$A$$$,MAJDS$]