(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, March 30 -- (Kyodo) _ (EDS: ADDING DETAILS)
Japan's industrial production unexpectedly fell a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent in February from the previous month for the first drop in three months, as output of vehicles and mobile phones slowed following relatively strong recent gains, the government said Friday.
The survey conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, however, suggested that the drop may only be a temporary phenomenon, as polled manufacturers anticipated that output will grow 2.6 percent in March and gain 0.7 percent in April.
The ministry said in a preliminary report that it maintained its basic assessment on industrial production, saying that it has been showing "signs of an upward movement."
"Overall, output has been recovering steadily," an official of the ministry told reporters, while giving a briefing on the survey.
For February, the seasonally-adjusted index of output at factories and mines stood at 94.1 against the base of 100 for 2005. Many economists had forecast a rise in the index.
By sector, output by transport equipment makers fell 2.6 percent, marking the first drop in three months, reflecting slowed production of passenger vehicles.
That by information and telecommunication machinery makers fell 8.9 percent as output of mobile phones slowed in reaction to their strong production in the previous month for the launch of new models. General machinery makers also reduced output by 4.5 percent, especially that of semiconductor manufacturing equipment for the domestic, U.S. and European markets.
Meanwhile, production by electronics parts and device companies rose 6.9 percent reflecting growing demand for liquid crystal elements and light-emitting diode for the use in smartphones.
The index of industrial shipments grew 1.1 percent to 95.7 and that of industrial inventories was up 0.1 percent to 103.1.
(c) 2012 Kyodo News International, Inc.
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