The Japanese economy continues to gain strength. Compared with the last assessment in April 2013, eight regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported upward revisions to their economic assessments from the previous report, according to a latest update from the Bank of Japan (BOJ). Many regions noted that the economy had been picking up against the background that domestic demand had increased its resilience with the improvement in household and business sentiment and that overseas demand was heading toward a pick-up.The private consumption was assisted mainly by the improvement in consumer sentiment, five regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it had begun to pick up moderately or had shown signs of picking up, and the Kanto-Koshinetsu region noted that it had shown increased resilience. Meanwhile, three regions (Tohoku, Chugoku, and Shikoku) reported that private consumption had been resilient or more or less unchanged.As for sales at large retail stores, many regions reported that sales at department stores were increasing or that signs of picking up had become widespread, mainly due to firm sales of high-end goods. On the other hand, most regions noted that sales at supermarkets had continued to be relatively weak.Many regions reported that automobile sales were picking up or had been firm.
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