Japan: Industrial output growth moderates in March
Industrial production rose 0.3% month-on-month in seasonally-adjusted terms in March (February: +2.0% mom).
On an annual basis, factory output fell 1.7% in March (February: +0.5% yoy). Meanwhile, annual average industrial production growth fell to 5.7% in March (February: +6.3%), signaling a worsening trend in the industrial sector.
Commenting on the reading, analysts at Nomura said:
“The data shows a mixed picture overall […] It looks like the recovery was hampered by the earthquake off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture on 16 March and by a shortage of components such as semiconductors […] the environment surrounding the manufacturing industry is uncertain as a whole, with high resource prices since mid-2021, growing uncertainty due to the conflict in Ukraine, and concerns over supply chain disruptions due to large-scale lockdowns in China. We expect manufacturing activity to basically continue to increase as the overall Japanese economy recovers, but we think it is important to bear in mind that production activity could fall in the near term due to a slow recovery or supply constraints.”