Japan: Industrial production rebounds in April
May 31, 2011
In April, industrial production grew 1.0% over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms, rebounding from the record drop of -15.5% registered in March (previously reported: -15.3% month-on-month). The slight increase came in lower than expected, with markets anticipating a more robust 2.2% expansion. Compared to April last year, industrial production contracted 14.0% (March: -13.1% year-on-year). The monthly rebound was broad-based as a majority of factories resumed their production, albeit at a subdued pace. The main growth drivers were general machinery and electrical machinery production, while information and communication electronics equipments and electronic parts and devices plunged further. Transport equipment, which plummeted last month (-46.7% mom), declined less sharply (-1.5% mom). According to the Survey of Production Forecast released on 31 May, manufacturers are mostly upbeat and see industrial output expanding 8.0% over the previous month in May (previously expected: +2.7% mom) and 7.7% in June. Analysts consider the positive forecast as a sign that companies are continuing along the road to recovery and that further gains in industrial production are likely to be observed going forward.