— Japan May Tertiary Index Revised -0.8% M/M Vs Prelim -0.9%
— Japan June Tertiary Index +0.8% Y/Y Vs May Revised +1.2%
— Japan Tertiary Index Posts 5th Y/Y Rise In Row

TOKYO (MNI) – Japan’s tertiary industry index, which measures
spending in the services sector, fell 0.1% in June from the previous
month, posting the seventh month-on-month drop in the past 12 months,
the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Monday.

The June drop, led by slower business in software, financial
products and transportation services, came after a revised 0.8% fall in
May (vs. -0.9% reported earlier).

The seasonally adjusted index fell to 97.1 in June from a revised
97.2 in May. In January, the index jumped 2.9% m/m to 98.8, which was
the highest level since 100.2 in November 2008.

The reading of 94.4 marked in March 2009, when the index slumped
3.4% m/m, remains the lowest level on record.

Historical data show that the index hit a record high reading of
103.5 in August 2007, when it rose 0.9% from the previous month.

From a year earlier, the unadjusted index rose 0.8% in June to
97.3, marking the fifth straight year-on-year rise after rising a
revised 1.2% in the previous month (preliminary +1.1%).

The 1.8% rise in both April and March was the largest y/y gain
since +1.9% in February 2008.

The 0.6% rise in February this year was the first y/y increase in
19 months since +0.2% in July 2008.

The index posted a record 7.7% year-on-year drop in March 2009.

In the latest month, the industries that showed decreased business
from the previous month were: information and communication (-3.5%),
finance and insurance (-2.7%), transport and postal activities (-2.0%),
compound (some postal) services (-1.6%), medical, health care and
welfare (-0.4%) and accommodations, eating and drinking services
(-0.4%).

The industries that showed increased business from the previous
month were: wholesale and retail trade (+1.2%), miscellaneous services
including automobile maintenance (+2.7%), personal and amusement
services (+1.4%), real estate and goods rental/leasing (+0.6%),
utilities (+0.4%) as well as scientific research, professional and
technical services (+0.2%).

Learning support was unchanged from the previous month.

The service sector employs more than half of Japan’s workforce, and
spending on services such as retailing, dining and travel is closely
tied to changes in income and consumer confidence.

The METI has changed the base year for the index to 2005 from 2000,
effective with the April 2009 data, resulting in revisions to past
figures dating from January 2003.

The ministry also re-grouped some service industries to reflect
changing business patterns. In particular, it divided up Japan Post’s
huge postal and financial services, which are now being privatized, and
reallocating them into “transport and postal activities” and “finance
and insurance.”

As a result, the category called “compound services” no longer
reflects Japan Post’s diversified postal and financial services but has
shrunk to show the limited commission business at post offices.

tokyo@marketnews.com
** Market News International Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-5403-4833 **

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