Japan Industry April 2016


Growth in industrial production slows in April following March's nearly-five-year high

In April, industrial production rose 0.3% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, which followed March’s nearly-five-year high of a 3.6% expansion. April’s print contrasted the 1.5% contraction that market analysts had expected.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the categories that made the greatest contributions to the monthly increase were chemicals (excluding drugs), electrical machinery and general-purpose, production and business oriented machinery. As a result, the government maintained its basic assessment of industrial production, stating that output was "moving sideways without a clear direction."

On an annual basis, industrial output fell 3.5% in April, which contrasted the 0.2% increase tallied in the previous month. Annual average growth in industrial production inched down from minus 1.0% in March to minus 1.3% in April.

The Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers are becoming more optimistic. They now expect industrial output to have recorded a month-on-month 2.2% increase in May, which contrasted the 2.3% drop that was forecast in the previous month’s survey. Manufacturers expect a 0.3% increase in June.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see industrial production falling 0.4% in 2016, which is down 0.5 percentage points over the previous month’s projection. For 2017, the panel expects industrial production to rise 1.8%.

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Japan Industry Chart

Japan Industry April 2016

Note: Month-on-month changes of seasonally-adjusted industrial production and year-on-year growth rate in %.
Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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