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Updated December 28th, 2023 at 12:53 IST

Japan's factory output declines in November

Looking ahead, manufacturers participating in METI's survey anticipate a 6.0 per cent uptick in seasonally adjusted output for December.

Business Desk
Automobile factory
Automobile factory | Image:Unsplash
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Japan's industrial production registered a downturn in November, primarily influenced by a slump in automobile manufacturing, casting shadows over the nation's export-driven economy, according to data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan on Thursday.

The industrial output contracted by 0.9 per cent in November compared to the previous month, a figure that surpassed the market consensus of a 1.6 per cent decline. A METI official highlighted that motor vehicle production, a pivotal component supporting industrial output, experienced a 2.5 per cent reduction in November. This decline was attributed to decelerations in the production of compact cars and engines.

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Additionally, the output of electrical machinery and information and communication electronics equipment declined by 3.5 per cent, reflecting subdued demand in sectors such as semiconductor and integrated-circuit testing equipment.

Looking ahead, manufacturers participating in METI's survey anticipate a 6.0 per cent uptick in seasonally adjusted output for December, followed by a 7.2 per cent contraction in January. METI maintained its characterisation of industrial production as "seesawing," emphasising uncertainties linked to global economic conditions and escalating prices.

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Furthermore, the ongoing production suspension at Daihatsu, Toyota Motor's small-car subsidiary embroiled in a safety scandal, is projected to exert additional downward pressure on output starting from January. Daihatsu announced a production halt in Japan extending until the conclusion of January.

In a contrasting economic indicator, separate data revealed a 5.3 per cent year-on-year expansion in Japanese retail sales for November. This growth, aligning closely with market expectations of a 5.0 per cent increase, marked the 21st consecutive month of retail expansion since March 2022. On a monthly basis, retail sales expanded by 1.0 per cent in November, rebounding from a 1.7 per cent decline observed in October.

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(With Reuters inputs)

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Published December 28th, 2023 at 07:40 IST

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