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Japan Industrial Output Climbs 1.7% In August

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Industrial production in Japan added a seasonally adjusted 1.7 percent on month in August, the ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Wednesday.

That exceeded expectations for an increase of 1.5 percent following the 8.7 percent gain in July.

On a yearly basis, industrial production dropped 13.3 percent - roughly in line with expectations following the 15.5 percent decline in the previous month.

Upon the release of the data, the METI upgraded its assessment on industrial production, saying now that it is picking up.

Industries that contributed to the increase included motor vehicles, iron and steel and electronic parts. These gains were offset by drops from production machinery, electrical machinery and communications equipment.

Shipments were up 2.1 percent on month and down 13.8 percent on year, while inventories fell 1.4 percent on month and 6.0 percent on year.

The inventory ratio lost 2.5 percent on month but jumped 12.3 percent on year.

According to the METI's forecast for industrial production, output is seen higher by 5.7 percent on month in September and up by 2.9 percent on month in October.

Industries expected to contribute to the gain in September include transport equipment, production machinery and communications equipment.

Industries expected to contribute to the gain in October include communications equipment, production machinery and transport equipment.

Also on Wednesday, the METI said that the total value of retail sales in Japan was up 4.6 percent on month in August, coming in at 12.419 trillion yen.

That beat expectations for an increase of 1.0 percent following the downwardly revised 3.4 percent drop in July (originally -3.3 percent).

On a yearly basis, retail sales fell 1.9 percent - again exceeding expectations for a fall of 3.5 percent after slipping a downwardly revised 2.9 percent in the previous month (originally -28 percent).

Commercial sales were up 1.4 percent on month and down 12.4 percent in August, while wholesale sales rose 0.8 percent on month and lost 16.6 percent on year.

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