Japan's April industrial output up 0.3% despite quake impact
Tokyo - WAM
Japan's industrial output in April rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent from the previous month, as solid production in the electrical machinery and chemicals sectors offset sluggish auto output disrupted by powerful earthquakes in southwestern Japan, the government said Tuesday.
The index of output at factories and mines rose for the second consecutive month to 97.0 against the base of 100 in 2010, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report, carried by Kyodo news agency.
The result represents a slowdown from a 3.8 percent rise the previous month but was stronger than the average market expectation of a 1.5 percent decrease.
Powerful earthquakes hit Kumamoto Prefecture and surrounding areas in April, forcing Toyota Motor Corp., its auto parts-making affiliate Aisin Seiki Co. and some other major manufacturers to halt their production.
The supply chain disruption caused by the earthquakes dented passenger car production 2.3 percent in the month.
The ministry maintained its basic assessment of production, saying the trend of output is fluctuating without a clear direction, with output expected to continue to rise in the coming months.
The index is projected to increase 2.2 percent and 0.3 percent in May and June respectively, according to manufacturers polled by the ministry.
The index of industrial shipments rose 1.5 percent to 95.9, while that of inventories was down 1.7 percent at 113.4.