Japan: Industrial production rebounds in December
January 31, 2014
In December, industrial production rose 1.1% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms. The expansion contrasted the 0.1% drop recorded in November but undershot the 1.3% rise that markets had expected. According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the sectors with the greatest contribution to the monthly increase were general-purpose, production and business oriented machinery, as well as fabricated metals. The government maintained its general assessment, stating that Japan's industrial production, "shows an upward movement." On an annual basis, industrial output expanded 7.3% in December. The increase followed the 4.8% rise observed in November and marked the largest annual gain since May 2012. In the full year 2013, industrial production declined 0.8%, which contrasted the 0.6% increase tallied in 2012. Meanwhile, the Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers are becoming more optimistic. They now expect industrial output to have recorded a month-on-month 6.1% increase in January, which is up from the 2.1% rise that was forecast in the previous month's survey. Manufacturers expect a 0.3% increase in February. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see industrial production expanding 4.7% in 2014, which is up 0.2 percentage points over the previous month's projection. In 2015, the panel expects industrial production to rise 3.1%.