UPDATE 1-Japan leading indicators index logs record gain

(For more stories on the Japanese economy click [ID:nECONJP])

* Leading indicator index up 4.4 points, biggest on record

* Coincident indicator index up 1.1 points, up for full year

* Govt cautious on tough job market, Greek debt crisis

(Adds comments, details)

TOKYO, May 12 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s index of leading indicators
jumped 4.4 points in March from February, its biggest gain on
record, government data showed on Wednesday, as the world’s No.2
economy steadily recovers on the back of brisk exports to Asia.

It was the 13th consecutive month of increases in the index,
which is compiled using data such as the number of job offers and
consumer sentiment and is a barometer of the economy a few months
ahead.

The index of coincident economic indicators rose a
preliminary 1.1 points, climbing for a full year as the economy’s
recovery continues.

Despite the upbeat Cabinet Office data, policymakers remain
cautious about the strength of the economy.

“As umemployment and jobs availability have not pulled away
from their worst levels on record, we need to be cautious when
judging if the economy is on track for a self-sustaining,
domestic demand-led recovery,” Keisuke Tsumura, a parliamentary
secretary of the Cabinet Office, told reporters.

“We should also pay heed to (possible effects from) Greece’s
problems before making an overall assessment on the economy,” he
added.

Greece’s debt woes have highlighted Japan’s fiscal problems
and some market players worry Japan could face growing difficulty
in borrowing due to its soaring debt, which is the highest among
industrialised countries.

Economists say Japan’s economy is likely to grow at its
fastest pace in the first quarter since April-June last year,
when the economy crawled out of its worst slump in decades.

The economy is expected to have grown 1.3 percent, or an
annualised 5.4 percent, in January-March as government subsidies
helped power up consumption and robust exports lifted capital
spending. [ID:nTOE64504A]

Details were as follows:

(month-on-month changes in points)
———————————————————-

MARCH FEB JAN DEC
Leading Index +4.4 +1.2 +2.9 +3.4
Coincident Index +1.1 +0.2 +3.3 +1.6
Lagging Index +1.2 +0.4 +2.4 +0.7
———————————————————-

To view full tables, click on the Cabinet Office’s website at
http://www.esri.cao.go.jp/en/stat/di/di-e.html

Stock Market Money

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano and Akiko Takeda; Editing by Chris
Gallagher)

UPDATE 1-Japan leading indicators index logs record gain