Japan: Industrial production rebounds in February
Industrial production expanded for the first time in four months, increasing 1.4% on a month-on-month and seasonally-adjusted basis in February. The print contrasted January’s 3.4% contraction and overshot the 1.0% rise that market analysts had expected.
The categories that drove the month-on-month increase were motor vehicles, production machinery and electrical machinery, and information and communication electronics equipment, in that order. Higher output for these categories was partially offset by decreases in production of transport equipment (excluding motor vehicles), inorganic and organic chemicals and electronic parts and devices.
On an annual basis, industrial output fell 1.0% in February, contrasting January’s 0.3% increase. Annual average growth in industrial production fell from January’s 0.9% to 0.8% in February.
The Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers are becoming more optimistic. They now expect industrial output to have recorded a 1.3% monthly increase in March, contrasting the 1.6% decrease forecast in the previous month’s survey. Manufacturers expect a 1.1% increase in April.