— Japan Mar Prelim Coincident CI +1.3 Pt M/M; MNI Fcast +1.0 Pt
— Japan Govt Keeps View: CI Shows Economy is Improving
— Japan Mar Prelim Leading CI +0.6 Pt M/M; MNI Fcast +0.5 Pt

TOKYO (MNI) – Japan’s coincident composite index (CI), which
reflects current business conditions, marked a second straight rise in
March while a continued rise in the leading index shows a recovery is
still ahead, preliminary Cabinet Office data showed on Wednesday.

The coincident CI rose 1.3 points to 96.5 after gaining 1.0 point
in February.

The consensus forecast among economists polled by MNI was for a
1.0-point increase.

In March, seven out of the 11 sub-indexes comprising the coincident
index rose, led by retail sales, industrial goods shipments and
industrial power usage.

The Cabinet Office maintained its overall assessment after
upgrading it last month, saying the composite index “shows that the
economy is improving.”

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: Mar 96.6 (+0.6 point m/m) vs. Feb 96.0 (+1.7
points), posting a third straight rise.

The lagging CI, which reflects economic conditions three months
ago: Mar 86.7 (+0.5 point m/m) vs. Feb 86.2 (+2.7 points m/m), marking a
second straight rise.

** MNI Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-5403-4835 **

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