Japan: Industrial production growth rebounds in February to near seven-year high
Industrial production rebounded in February, expanding 4.1% on a month-on-month, seasonally-adjusted basis after contracting 6.8% in January. Despite the strong headline figure, which marked the highest pace of growth since mid-2011, production came in below analysts’ expectations of a 5.0% growth rate.
The categories that mainly contributed to the month-on-month increase were transport equipment; general-purpose, production and business-oriented machinery; and electronic parts and devices, in that order.
On an annual basis, industrial output grew 1.4% in February, slowing from January’s 2.5% increase. Annual average growth in industrial production ticked down from 4.5% in January to 4.3% in February.
The Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers were feeling more optimistic in March. They expected industrial production to have expanded 0.9% in March, up from the 2.7% contraction forecast for February in the previous survey. Furthermore, manufacturers expect industrial output to grow 5.2% in April.