Recovery in Japan slow, output falls

Recovery in Japan slow, output falls

TOKYO- Agence France-Presse
Recovery in Japan slow, output falls

A buyer examines a Toyota in a Japanese show room. Auto output slowed. REUTERS photo

Japan’s factory output fell unexpectedly in February, data showed March 30, suggesting the recovery in the world’s number three economy remained anemic.

The fall confounded expectations for a third straight increase, although officials pointed out that manufacturers expect the slowdown to be temporary.

The 1.2 percent on-month decline in industrial production was triggered largely by slower automobile and semiconductor output, surprising observers who had tipped a 1.3 percent gain.

“The outcome was unexpected, as industries such as the electronic machinery industry that were supposed to show a gain in output turned out to be negative,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance.

“The data confirm that the pace of recovery in production is slow, even though the upward momentum remains intact,” he added.