Japan's factory output fell 4.1 percent in September from the previous month for the third straight month of decline, adding to signs of losing its recovery momentum after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami amid the global slowdown, official data showed Tuesday.
The index, which followed a revised 1.6 percent shrink in September, marked the sharpest drop since March 2011 disaster, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. The reading prompted the ministry to downgrade its overall assessment of production in the world's third-biggest economy for the 12th consecutive month, saying, "Industrial production is on a downward trend." The September production fall was chiefly due to a decrease in output from carmakers on lower auto demand in the US and Europe. Slowing growth in China and tensions between Japan and China over a territorial dispute, which led to Chinese consumer to boycott Japanese products, also hit demand for transport equipments.