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Japan Industry March 2018

Japan: Industrial production expands for second consecutive month in March

In March, industrial production rose 1.2% on a month-on-month and seasonally-adjusted basis, following the 2.0% increase in February. March’s print, which represented the second expansion in a row, came in above analysts’ expectations of a 0.5% increase.

The categories that mainly contributed to the month-on-month increase were electronic parts and devices; chemicals (excluding drugs); and transport equipment, in that order.

On an annual basis, industrial output grew 2.2% in March, accelerating from February’s 1.6% increase. Annual average growth in industrial production ticked down from 4.2% in February to 4.1% in March.

The Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers are feeling more pessimistic. They expected industrial production to have expanded 3.1% in April, down from the 4.0% rise forecast in the previous survey. Furthermore, manufacturers expect industrial output to fall 1.6% in May.

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