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Japan Industrial Output Up 0.1% In November

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Industrial production in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in November compared to the previous month, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Friday's preliminary reading - rising for the third straight month.

The headline figure missed forecasts for an increase of 0.4 percent following the 1.0 percent gain in October.

On a yearly basis, production climbed 5.0 percent - also shy of expectations for 5.4 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous month.

Upon the release of the data, the METI maintained its assessment of industrial production, saying that it continues to show upward movement.

Industries that contributed to the increase were transport equipment, communication electronics equipment and chemicals. Commodities that moved higher were desktop computers, midget passenger cars and semiconductor products machinery.

According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production is expected to increase 2.8 percent in December and 4.6 percent in January.

Industries that are expected to contribute to the increase in December include electrical machinery, general-purpose, production and business oriented machinery and information and communication electronics equipment.

Industries that are expected to contribute to the increase in January include general-purpose, production and business oriented machinery, transport equipment and electronic parts and devices.

Shipments in November eased 0.1 percent on month, falling for the first time in three months. Shipments were up 6.5 percent on year.

Industries that contributed to the decrease were general-purpose, production and business oriented machinery, electronic parts and devices and electrical machinery.

Inventories in November dropped 1.9 percent on month, falling for the fourth consecutive month. Inventories were also down 5.2 percent on year.

Industries that contributed to the decline were transport equipment, general-purpose, production and business oriented machinery and iron and steel.

The inventory ratio in November shed 1.4 percent on month, falling for the third consecutive month. It was also down 11.2 percent on year.

Also on Friday, the latest PMI from Nomura and JMMA revealed that an index measuring industrial activity in Japan came in with a score of 55.2 in December, expanding for the 10th straight month.

That's up from 55.1 in November and marks the highest level since July 2006.

A score above 50 means expansion in a sector and a score below 50 is contraction.

Among the individual components of the survey, the employment index rose to 52.8 from 50.9 in November for the highest reading since June 2007.

The index for work backlogs climbed to 55.9 from 55.6, while the index for new export orders fell to 55.7 from 57.2 in November.

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