Japan composite economic index up for 1st time in 2 months in July

Japan's key composite economic index rose for the first time in two months in July, the government said Friday.

The index of coincident indicators, such as industrial output, retail sales and new job offers, advanced 0.9 point to 106.4 from the previous month, against the 2010 base of 100, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report.

The office upgraded its basic assessment of the coincident index, saying the data indicates the economy is "improving."

The index of leading indicators, which predicts developments in the coming few months, increased 0.6 point to 107.8. The index of lagging indicators, measuring performance in the recent past, gained 0.6 points to 111.2.