Japan's Industrial Production Drops In April

A decline in car and truck manufacturing and electronic components is responsible for the drop in industrial output, according to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

TOKYO (AP) - Japanese industrial production slipped 0.1 percent in April from March, the government reported Wednesday, but forecast that factory output would climb in coming months.
Lower manufacturing of cars and trucks as well as flat-panel displays and other electronics components contributed to the drop, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and Nikkei News had predicted a 0.5 percent increase.
It was the second straight decline after a 0.3 percent drop in March.
But the trade ministry said manufacturers surveyed expect output to rise 1.8 percent in May and another 1.4 percent in June.
The market had expected a rebound in production, and the drop in the electronics sector seems to be lasting longer than previously thought, said Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.'s chief economist Etsuko Yamashita.
Japan's economy, the world's second-biggest, has been steadily recovering in recent years from a decade-long slump that began in the early 1990s. In the most recent quarter, it was growing at a 2.4 percent annual pace.
The outlook for higher factory production comes a day after the government said Japan's jobless rate fell to a nine-year low of 3.8 percent and household spending rose in April.
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