Japan's factory output fell 1.0% in November

TOKYO : Japan’s factory output fell 1.0 percent in November from the previous month in the first decline since August, official data showed on Monday, as the country struggles to stimulate its fragile economy.

The decline was mainly due to stagnant production of general machinery, chemical engineering and metal industry, according to the ministry of economy, trade and industry.

The figure was worse than market expectations of a 0.4 percent fall. Looking ahead, the ministry expected production in December to rise 0.9 percent, and further gain 6.0 percent in January.

Japan’s production overall is making “one step forward and one step back,” the ministry said in a statement.

The latest announcement came days after the world’s number three economy said its inflation rate ticked up in November, offering a glimmer of hope for Tokyo’s bid to conquer years of deflation.

But the latest inflation number remains way below the Bank of Japan’s 2.0 percent target, as officials struggle to convince cautious firms to usher in big wage hikes to stir spending.

A falling price spiral in Japan for years put consumers off buying in the hope of getting goods cheaper down the road, denting firms’ expansion and hiring plans. That has weighed on growth in the wider economy.

A lacklustre global economy, marked by the slowdown in China and weakness in emerging markets, is also posing challenges to the recovery.

Tokyo has approved an extra spending budget to stimulate the still-weak economy.



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