Industrial production in Japan gained a seasonally adjusted 1.8 percent on month in October, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Friday's preliminary reading - rising for the first time in four months.
The headline figure beat expectations for a decline of 2.0 percent following the 4.1 percent decline in September.
On a yearly basis, industrial production dipped 4.3 percent - also beating forecasts for a fall of 8.0 percent after shedding 8.1 percent in the previous month.
Upon the release of the data, the METI maintained its assessment of industrial production, saying: "Industrial production is on a downward trend."
Industries that contributed to the increase in October include electronic parts, fabricated metals and transport equipment. Commodities that contributed to the decline include metal oxide semiconductor ICs, active matrix LCDs and photovoltaic modules.
According to the survey of production forecast in manufacturing, production is expected to decrease 0.1 percent in November and increase 7.5 percent in December.
Industries that contribute to the fall in November include transport equipment, electronics equipment and iron and steel. Industries that mark the increase in December include transport equipment, electronic parts, electrical parts and general machinery.
Shipments were flat on month in October after dipping in the previous month. They were also down 4.7 percent on year, thanks to a decline in communications equipment, general machinery and non-ferrous metals.
Inventories were up 0.3 percent on month, rising for the first time in three months. They were also up 4.2 percent on year thanks to gains among electronic parts, electrical machinery and petroleum and coal products.
The inventory ratio was down 1.8 percent on month in October, after rising in the previous month. It was also up 9.8 percent on year.
Also on Friday:
• Core consumer prices in Japan were unchanged on an annual basis in October, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said- beating forecasts for a 0.1 percent contraction, which would have been unchanged from the September reading.
Overall nationwide consumer prices were down 0.4 percent on year, in line with forecasts following the 0.3 percent decline in the previous month. On a monthly basis, both overall and core CPI were unchanged.
Core consumer prices for the Tokyo region - considered a leading indicator for the nationwide trend - were down 0.5 percent on year in November. That matched forecasts after dipping 0.4 percent in October.
Overall Tokyo inflation also was down an annual 0.5 percent versus forecasts for a contraction of 0.7 percent after falling 0.8 percent a month prior. On a monthly basis, overall Tokyo CPI was down 0.4 percent and core CPI dipped 0.3 percent.
• The unemployment rate in Japan was a seasonally adjusted 4.2 percent in October, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said- in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month. The participation rate was 59.4 percent, also matching expectations and up from 59.3 percent in September.
The number of employed persons in October was 63.21 million, up 130,000 or 0.2 percent from the previous year. The number of unemployed persons in October was 2.71 million, down 180,000 or 6.2 percent from the previous year.
• Average household spending in Japan was down 0.1 percent on year in October, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said, standing at 284,238 yen. That beat forecasts for a decline of 0.8 percent following the 0.9 percent contraction in September.
The average of monthly income for workers' household was up 0.9 percent on year to 482,101 yen, while consumption expenditures added an annual 0.7 percent to 315,161 yen.
Among the individual components, spending on housing dropped an annual 13.5 percent, while clothing was down 6.7 percent, fuel eased 0.1 percent, medical care collected 4.1 percent, transportation added 7.8 percent and furniture spiked 12.0 percent.
• The Nomura/JMMA Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index saw a score of 46.5 in November, dipping from 46.9 in October. A score below 50 signals contraction in a sector, while a score above 50 means expansion.
• Upon the release of the data, the yen was little changed against its major opponents, trading near 106.60 against the euro, 131.75 against the pound, 88.53 against the Swiss franc and 82.14 against the U.S. dollar.
by RTT Staff Writer
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