Japan Nov factory output falls

Japan Nov factory output falls

Japan’s export-based economy is facing a cloudy future as factory output dropped in November. This was caused by a drop in auto production.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) released figures on Thursday showing that industrial production dropped 0.9% in November compared to the previous month. The number was better than the 1.6% drop that most people in the market thought it would be.

A METI official said that slower production of small cars and engines caused motor vehicle production to drop 2.5% in November from the previous month. This was because of lower industrial output.

The official said that slow demand for semiconductor and integrated-circuit testing equipment caused output of electrical machinery and information and communication electronics equipment to drop 3.5% as well.

The minister of industry polled manufacturers and found that they think seasonally adjusted output will rise by 6.0% in December and fall by 7.2% in January. “Seesawing” was still how METI described industry output.

“We’ll continue to monitor the impact of the global economic downturn and rising prices,” the official stated.

An official from METI also said that production will likely slow down even more starting in January because of a safety scandal at Toyota Motor’s (7203.T) Daihatsu small car business.

This week, the company said that it would not be making any small cars in Japan until the end of the month.

An economist at Daiwa Securities named Kota Suzuki said, “Automobile-related production has steadily recovered this year thanks to easing supply constraints. However, the risk of production cuts will need to be watched carefully in the near term.”

The METI expert thought that semiconductor production would slowly start to rise again.

Japanese retail sales rose 5.3% in November compared to the same month last year, according to separate statistics. That was about what the market expected, with a gain of 5.0%. It was the 21st month in a row of growth since March 2022.

Retail sales went up 1.0% in November compared to the previous month. This came after they went down 1.7% in October.


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