Industrial production in Japan climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent on month in January, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Friday’s preliminary reading.
That beat forecasts for an increase of 0.2 percent following the 1.2 percent gain in December.
On an annual basis, industrial production sank 2.5 percent – but that also exceeded expectations for a decline of 3.1 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous month.
Upon the release of the data, the METI downgraded its assessment of industrial production, saying that it fluctuates indecisively but has weakened.
Shipments were up 0.2 percent on month and down 3.7 percent on year, while inventories rose 1.5 percent on month and 3.8 percent on year. The inventory ratio sank 1.5 percent on month but spiked 9.6 percent on year.
According to the METI’s forecast for industrial production, output is expected to climbed 5.3 percent on month in February but then sink 6.9 percent in March.
Also on Friday:
. The jobless rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in January, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. That exceeded expectations for 2.2 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous month.
The job-to-applicant ratio was 1.49, well shy of expectations for 1.57 – which again would have been steady from a month earlier.
The number of employed persons in January was 66.87 million, an increase of 590,000 on year. The number of unemployed persons in January was 1.59 million, a decrease of 70,000 on year.
. Overall consumer prices in the Tokyo region were up just 0.4 percent on year in February, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. That was shy of expectations for a gain of 0.5 percent and down from 0.6 percent in January.
Core CPI, which excludes volatile food prices, gained an annual 0.5 percent. That missed expectations for 0.6 percent and slipped from 0.7 percent in the previous month.
On a monthly basis, overall Tokyo inflation eased 0.1 percent and core CPI fell 0.2 percent.
. The total value of retail sales in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent on month in January, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. That exceeded expectations for a decline of 0.1 percent following the 0.2 percent gain in December.
On a yearly basis, retail sales fell 0.4 percent – but that also exceeded forecasts for a drop of 1.3 percent following the 2.6 percent slide in the previous month.
Large retailer sales were down 1.4 percent on year in January, beating forecasts for a drop of 1.6 percent following the 3.0 percent decline a month earlier.