Japan: Industrial production contracts again in December
Industrial production declined 0.1% on a month-on-month and seasonally-adjusted basis in December, following November’s 1.0% contraction. Nevertheless, the print was better than the 0.4% drop that market analysts had expected.
The categories that drove the month-on-month fall were production machinery, chemicals (excluding inorganic, organic chemicals, and medicine) as well as electronic parts and devices. Lower output for these categories was partially offset by increases in production of general-purpose and business-oriented machinery, motor vehicles as well as electrical machinery, and information and communication electronics equipment.
On an annual basis, industrial output declined 1.9% in December, contrasting the 1.5% increase in November. Annual average growth in industrial production fell from November’s 1.5% to 1.0% in December.
The Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers are becoming slightly more optimistic. They now expect industrial output to have recorded a 0.1% monthly decrease in January, up from the 0.8% fall forecast in the previous month’s survey. Manufacturers expect a 2.6% expansion in February.