Japan’s industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in April from the previous month as manufacturers scaled back on output which they had boosted ahead of the sales tax hike, prompting the government to downgrade its assessment of production for the first time since September 2012, government data showed Friday.
In revising downward the basic assessment of production, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said it “appears to be flat,” compared with the previous month’s phrase saying it continued to “show upward momentum.”
The index of production at factories and mines stood at 99.6 against the base of 100 in 2010, the ministry said in a preliminary report.
Looking ahead, manufacturers polled by the ministry expect output to rise 1.7 percent in May, but drop back 2.0 percent in June.
Shotaro Kugo, economist at Daiwa Institute of Research, said that the impact of the 3-percentage-point consumption tax hike to 8 percent implemented last month has been “largely within expectation,” and production is expected to recover down the road, supported by an increase in exports.
“There are signs of a global economic recovery and I don’t think output will continue to drop” after June, Kugo said.
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