Japan Industrial Output Slips 0.1% In December

Industrial production in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent on month in December, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Tuesday.

That beat expectations for a decline of 1.2 percent following the 0.2 percent increase in November.

On a yearly basis, industrial production slumped 2.8 percent, missing forecasts for a fall of 2.0 percent following the 0.9 percent gain in the previous month.

Upon the release of the data, the METI downgraded its assessment of industrial production, saying that it has weakened.

Industries that contributed to the decline included business-oriented machinery, iron and steel, and electrical machinery. These were offset by support from transport equipment, motor vehicles and production machinery.

Shipments were down 0.7 percent on month and 3.0 percent on year, while inventories fell 0.5 percent on month and added 3.2 percent on year and the inventory ratio added 1.2 percent on month and 9.8 percent on year.

According to the METI's forecast for industrial production, output is expected to be flat in January and up 4.1 percent in February.

Also on Tuesday, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication said that the unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in December.

That was in line with forecasts and unchanged from the November reading.

The participation rate was 62.3 percent, missing forecasts for 62.4 percent, which would have been unchanged.

The job-to-applicant ratio was 1.35. unchanged from the previous month but missing forecasts for 1.34.

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