Japan: Industrial production rebounds strongly in February
March 31, 2017
Industrial production in Japan rose 2.0% in February compared to the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, contrasting January’s 0.4% decrease. February’s mark represented an eight-month high and overshot analysts’ expectations of a 1.2% rise.
According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, February’s rise in industrial production was driven by the transport equipment, general-purpose, production and business-oriented machinery and chemicals (excluding drugs) categories, while the electronic parts and devices, plastic products and textiles subsectors subtracted from growth.
On an annual basis, industrial output rose 4.8% in February, coming in above January’s 3.7% increase and marking the highest growth in nearly three years. Annual average growth in industrial production ticked up from 0.4% in January to 0.9% in February.
The Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers are becoming more pessimistic. They now expect industrial output to have recorded a 5.0% monthly decrease in March, below the 2.0% decline forecast in the previous month’s survey. Manufacturers expect a strong 8.3% rise in April.