Japan: Industrial production growth shoots up in December
Industrial production rose 2.7% in December compared to the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, up from November’s 0.5% increase. The reading handily beat the 1.6% expansion that market analysts had expected and marked the fastest pace of growth in eight months.
The categories that mainly contributed to the month-on-month increase were transport equipment; general-purpose, production and business oriented machinery; and fabricated metals, in that order. Conversely, information and communication electronics equipment, petroleum and coal products, and chemicals (excluding drugs) had a negative contribution to December’s reading.
On an annual basis, industrial output grew 4.2% in December, picking up from November’s 3.6% increase. Annual average growth in industrial production ticked up to 4.6% in December, from November’s 4.5%.
The Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers are becoming slightly more optimistic. They now expect industrial production to have decreased 4.3% in January, up from the 4.5% decline forecast in the previous survey. Manufacturers furthermore expect industrial output to grow 5.7% in February.