Japan: Industrial production plummets in January
Industrial production tumbled to a 6.6% contraction compared to the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms in January, contrasting December’s revised 2.9% increase (previously reported: +2.7% month-on-month). The was below the 4.2% drop that market analysts had expected and represented the fastest pace of contraction since the March 2011 devastating earthquake.
The categories that mainly contributed to the month-on-month drop were transport equipment; general-purpose, production and business oriented machinery, in that order.
On an annual basis, industrial output grew 2.7% in January, slowing down from December’s 4.4% increase. Annual average growth in industrial production ticked down from 4.6% in December to 4.5% in January.
The Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers are becoming more optimistic. They now expect industrial production to have expanded 9.0% in February, up from the 5.7% rise forecast in the previous survey. Manufacturers, however, expect industrial output to decline 2.7% in March.