Japan factory output falls

Comment on this story
JapanBrokerage REUTERS A man looks at his watch as he passes an electronic board displaying a graph of currency rates outside a brokerage in Tokyo.

Tokyo - Japan's industrial output in February fell 2.3 percent month-on-month, slipping after a 3.8 percent expansion in January, government data showed Monday.

Economists had widely predicted a 0.3 percent rise, and the February contraction was the first decrease in output in three months.

The surprisingly weak production figures follow mixed economic data for Japan and come just a day before the country's first sales tax hike since the late 1990s.

There are fears that increasing the levy on everyday goods to 8.0 percent from 5.0 percent - seen as crucial to paying down Japan's huge national debt - could weigh on consumer spending and derail a recovery in the world's third-largest economy.

Last week figures showed Tokyo's bid to stoke lasting inflation in a country plagued by years of falling prices was gathering steam, while unemployment fell to a more than six-year low. - Sapa-AFP

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines