Japan Industrial Output Gains 0.4% In February

Japan Industrial Output Gains 0.4% In February

Industrial production in Japan advanced a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent on month in February, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Tuesday’s preliminary reading.

That beat forecasts for a flat reading following the 1.0 percent increase in January.

On a yearly basis, industrial production fell 4.7 percent – but that also beat expectations for a drop of 4.8 percent following the 2.3 percent decline in the previous month.

Upon the release the data, the METI revised its assessment of industrial production – saying that it fluctuates indecisively but has weakened.

Shipments were up 2.6 percent on month and down 4.7 percent on year, while inventories fell 2.0 percent on month and gained 1.4 percent on year. The inventory ratio sank 2.5 percent on month but jumped 8.6 percent on year.

According to the METI’s forecast for industrial production, output is expected to sink a seasonally adjusted 5.3 percent on month in March and rebound 7.5 percent higher in April.

Also on Tuesday: . The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in February, the Ministry of Communications and Internal Affairs said. That was in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month.

The job-to-applicant ratio was 1.45, shy of expectations for 1.47 and down from 1.49 in January.

The number of employed persons in February was 66.91 million, an increase of 350,000 from the previous year. The number of unemployed persons in February was 1.59 million, an increase of 30,000 from the previous year.

. Retail sales in Japan gained a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent on month in February, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. That beat forecasts for a decline of 1.7 percent following the 1.5 percent increase in January.

On a yearly basis, retail sales gained 1.7 percent – again exceeding expectations for a decline of 1.5 percent following the 0.4 percent drop in the previous month.

Large retailer sales added 0.2 percent on year, topping forecasts for a decline of 1.6 percent following the 1.5 percent decline a month earlier.