RTTNews - Monday saw significant statistical data being released from Asian economies. Japan's central bank and the Cabinet Office upgraded their economic assessment. Elsewhere, the Thai gross domestic product or GDP contracted significantly in the first quarter, dragging the economy into a recession. Consumer prices in Singapore registered an unexpected decline in April, the first such fall in almost four years, owing to lower prices of housing as well as transport and communication.

The Bank of Japan or BoJ raised its assessment of the world's second largest economy. In its latest Economic and Financial Developments Report, the central bank said economic conditions in Japan have been deteriorating, but exports and production are beginning to level out. Last month, the central bank noted significant deterioration in economic activity.

A few hours later, Japan's Cabinet Office also raised its economic assessment for the first time in three years in its latest monthly report. The government said, While the economy is in a difficult situation, the tempo of worsening has become moderate.

Elsewhere, the BoJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said in a speech in Kanazawa economic recovery in Japan and the rest of the world would be mild as removing excesses accumulated over the past several years will take considerable time.

On the data front, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said an index measuring all industrial activity in Japan was down 2.4% in March compared to the previous month. That followed a revised 2.3% monthly decline in February, which was originally reported lower by 2%.

Thailand's National Economic and Social Development Board said the economy contracted dramatically by 7.1% year-on-year in the first quarter on declining exports and imports. The decrease was severe than the 4.2% decline seen in the fourth quarter.

However, GDP was down 1.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis, much milder than the 6.1% contraction in the fourth quarter. Economists were expecting a 1.7% decline. By shrinking consecutively for the second straight quarter, the Thai economy entered recession in the first three months of the year.

Singapore's Department of Statistics said in a report that the consumer price index dropped 0.7% year-on-year in April, after rising 1.6% in March. Economists expected prices to increase 0.7%. This is the first drop in consumer prices since June 2005. Month-on-month, consumer prices were down 1.1% in April, following a 0.4% fall in March.

Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs said export orders in April fell 20.90% year-on-year to US$25.12 billion. Meanwhile, economists had forecast a 25.4% contraction following another fall of 20.90% in March. The ministry said in a separate report that industrial production fell 19.88% annually in April after a 26.03% decline in March. Production was expected to decline 25% in April.

The General Statistics Office of Vietnam announced that the consumer price index or CPI rose 5.58% year-over-year in May, slower than the 9.23% increase in the previous month. On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 0.44% in May, faster than the 0.35% rise recorded in the preceding month.

In other news, the International Monetary Fund reportedly said the pace of increase in South Korea's unemployment this year would be the slowest among advanced economies.

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