TOKYO, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The composite index of coincident indicators, a key gauge of Japan's economic conditions, rose in January to its highest level in six years, the Cabinet Office said Friday.
The index of coincident indicators, such as industrial output, retail sales and new job offers, gained 2.5 points on monthly basis to 114.8, against the 2010 base of 100, up for the seventh straight month, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report.
The figure was the highest level since February 2008, before the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September that year that caused the global financial crisis and hurt Japan's economy.
Meanwhile, the index of leading indicators, which predicts developments three months ahead, increased 0.5 point to 112.2, up for the fifth consecutive month.
The index of lagging indicators, measuring economic performance in the recent past, gained for the third straight month, up 1.1 points to 115.6.
According to Japan's Kyodo News, the corporate sector was partly stimulated by the planned consumption hike in April, but there are some concerns that consumer spending and investment could face a downturn after the tax rate is actually raised next month.