— Japan May Tertiary Index +0.9% M/M Vs Apr Rev +2.5%
— MNI Survey Median Forecast For May Tertiary Index: +0.7%
— Japan Tertiary Index Posts 2nd M/M Rise in Row
— Japan May Tertiary Index -0.4% Y/Y Vs Apr Revised -2.5%
— Japan Tertiary Index Posts 3rd Y/Y Fall in Row

TOKYO (MNI) – Japan’s tertiary industry index, which measures
spending in the services sector, rose for a second straight month in
May, as the dampening effect of the March 11 earthquake disaster
continued to ease, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
showed on Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted index rose 0.9% m/m to 96.6 in May
following a revised 2.5% rise in April (initially +2.6%). The level was
still below 99.3 seen in February, before the disaster.

It was the eighth m/m rise in the past 12 months, led by continued
gains in sales of home electronics at wholesale and retail levels.
People have also returned to theaters and racetracks after restraining
leisure spending out of respect for disaster victims.

The May figure came in slightly stronger than the median forecast
for a 0.7% rise in a Market News International survey of economists.

Under the current data series dating to January 2003, the
seasonally adjusted tertiary index tumbled to a record low level of 93.4
in March 2011, against 100.0 for the 2005 base year.

The index hit a record high of 103.5 in August 2007, when it rose
0.9% from the previous month.

From a year earlier, the unadjusted index fell 0.4% to 93.8 in May,
marking a third straight year-on-year fall, after dropping by revised
2.5% in April.

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.

tokyo@marketnews.com
** Market News International Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-5403-4835 **

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