21 February 2003 – Electricity sales by Japan’s ten major power utilities to large-lot industrial users totaled 20.87 billion kWh in January, up 5.2 per cent on year, the Federation of Electric Power Companies said Friday.

The preliminary report showed power sales to large-lot industrial users rose for the seventh straight month. These sales are used as a gauge of the country’s economic strength.

In January, power sales to steel, nonferrous metals, machinery, chemicals and paper and pulp sectors were higher, while those to textile and fiber sectors were lower.

The largest increase came from the chemicals sector, which required 2.09 billion kWh of electricity in January, up ten per cent from a year before.

Total power sales by the ten major utilities stood at 77.52 billion kWh in January, up 5.8 per cent from a year earlier, the federation