Japan: Industrial production rebounds mildly in March
April 30, 2014
In March, industrial production expanded 0.3% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, which contrasted the 2.3% decrease recorded in February and slightly undershot the 0.5% increase that markets had expected.
According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the sectors with the greatest contribution to the monthly increase were transport equipment, electronic parts and devices, and ceramics, stone and clay products. The government maintained its general assessment, stating that industrial production, “shows an upward movement,” in Japan.
On an annual basis, industrial output expanded 7.0% in March, which matched the result tallied in February. Annual average growth in industrial production rose from 1.9% in February to 3.2% in March, marking the highest level since May 2011.
Meanwhile, the Survey of Production Forecast showed that manufacturers are becoming more pessimistic. They now expect industrial output to have recorded a month-on-month 1.4% drop in April, which was below the 0.6% decline that was forecast in the previous month's survey. Conversely, manufacturers expect a 0.1% increase in May.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see industrial production expanding 4.7% in 2014, which is down 0.1 percentage points over the previous month's projection. In 2015, the panel expects industrial production to rise 3.1%.