The Japanese government on Friday upgraded its overall economic assessment for the third straight month in March, thanks to improvement in such areas as industrial output, capital investment and job market conditions.
"The Japanese economy is showing signs of picking up recently, while weakness can be seen in some areas," the Cabinet office said in its monthly economic report for March.
It is the first time that the government has raised its economic assessment for three months in a row since May-July 2009, when the economy was recovering from the aftermath of the 2008 Lehman Brothers' collapse. The office said the "economy is bottoming out while weakness can be seen in some areas" in the previous report for February. The office also raised its assessment of industrial production, capital spending, corporate profits and employment, but said that exports are moderately decreasing.
Japan's economy expanded at an annual 0.2 percent pace in the October-December period on strong private and corporate consumption, marking the first expansion in three quarters. On Friday, Japan's parliament approved the government's nominees for the Bank of Japan governor and two deputies, raising expectations for the central bank's further monetary easing after the launch of the new leadership on March 20.