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Gov't revises upward key economic gauge for August.

TOKYO, Oct. 17 Kyodo

The government on Wednesday revised upward a key economic gauge of the current state of the Japanese economy for August to 85.0 percent from a preliminary 83.3 percent.

The diffusion index of coincident indicators was upgraded because fresh data on the capacity utilization rate at manufacturers were positive, according to the Cabinet Office.

The revised coincident index stood above the boom-or-bust threshold of 50 percent in August for the fifth straight month.

A reading above 50 percent is considered to indicate economic expansion and a figure below that line is seen to signal economic contraction.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office downgraded the index of leading indicators -- a key index for the nation's economic activity about six months down the road -- to 27.3 percent from a preliminary 30.0 percent.

The downward revision was caused by a negative reading for an indicator of machinery orders, which was not available in the preliminary report issued Oct. 5.

The index of lagging indicators, designed to measure economic performance in the recent past, stood at 40.0 percent, up from the preliminary 25.0 percent, with a newly available positive reading for an indicator of service industry activity.

The diffusion indexes compare the levels of various economic data sensitive to shifts in the economy for a reporting month with their levels three months earlier.

Their readings represent component indicators that witnessed improvements as a percentage of total component indicators.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Oct 20, 2007
Words:241
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