Japan: Industrial output rebounded vigorously at the end of 2010
January 31, 2011
In December, industrial production increased 3.1% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous month. The reading more than tripled the 1.0% expansion tallied in November and overshot market expectations, which had industrial production growing 2.8%. The improvement over the previous month was mostly driven by stronger sales of transport equipment (December: +5.1% month-on-month; November: +4.5% mom), in particular of passenger cars and ships, as well as by the increased production of electronic parts and devices. The robust expansion was fuelled by strong exports to China and the United States. Despite the strong monthly increase, industrial output growth moderated in annual terms from a 5.8% expansion in November to a 4.6% increase, as the favourable base effect is fading. Moreover, annual average growth inched down to 15.9% (November: +16.1% year-on-year). According to a survey published together with industrial output data, manufacturers expect the industrial sector to expand 5.7% in January and to decrease 1.2% in February.