Japan: Industrial production growth slows in April
May 31, 2018
Industrial production moderated in April, growing 0.3% on a month-on-month and seasonally-adjusted basis, down from March’s revised 1.4% increase (previously reported: +1.2% month-on-month). April’s performance marked the third consecutive month of expansion but fell short of market expectations of a 1.3% increase.
The categories that contributed most to the month-on-month increase were transport equipment; general-purpose, production and business-oriented machinery; and fabricated metals. Gains were partially countered by slowdowns in the manufacture of electronic parts and devices, electrical machinery, and chemicals.
On an annual basis, industrial output grew 2.5% in April, accelerating slightly from the 2.4% expansion registered in March. Annual average growth in industrial production ticked down from 4.1% in March to 3.8% in April.
The Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers were slightly more optimistic in May. They expected industrial production to have expanded 0.3% in May, contrasting the 1.6% decrease forecast in the previous survey. However, manufacturers expect industrial output to fall 0.8% in June.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist