June 8, 2014 1:00 am JST

Japan's 'Li Keqiang index' points to slowing China economy

TOKYO -- The "Li Keqiang index" clearly shows that China's economy has been slowing since last November, Japan's Cabinet Office said Saturday.

     The index is based on three economic indicators -- the amount of electricity consumption, the volume of railway transportation and the balance of new medium- and long-term loans.

     Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is said to have once used the trio of indicators to gain a clearer picture of the Chinese economy, placing more emphasis on them than on gross domestic product data and other figures.

     According to the Cabinet Office, the Li Keqiang index declined for the five months through March -- the latest month for which figures are available -- after peaking at 10.6 last October. The index for March stood at 5.1, down 1.1 points from the previous month.