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Economy in Brief

Japan Industrial Sector in Steep Slowdown…or Worse
by Robert Brusca May 30, 2008

Industrial output is slowing sharply in Japan and across most sectors. Consumer goods and intermediate goods are leading the way down. Very sharp declines have come in textiles and transportation goods in the past two months. Intermediate goods, in addition to consumer goods, find weak trends in place over two months as well. Even investment goods that have been relatively stronger on a worldwide basis are showing some softness as the output of investment goods fell in March in Japan and managed only a weak rebound in April.

In the new quarter-to-date all sectors and breakdowns show steep declines except for mining. Japan like German is getting off to a weak start in 2008-Q2. For Germany it is weak retail sales, for Japan it’s weakness in output.

Japan Industrial Production Trends
  m/m % Saar % Yr/Yr Qtr-2-Date
seasonally adjusted Apr-08 Mar-08 Feb-08 3-mo 6-mo 12-mo Yr-Ago % AR
Mining & Manufacturing -0.3% -3.4% 1.6% -8.2% -6.8% 0.6% 1.1% -11.6%
Total Industry -0.1% -3.8% 2.0% -7.5% -5.6% 0.6% 1.1% -11.4%
Manufacturing -0.4% -3.3% 1.6% -8.2% -6.8% 0.6% 1.0% -11.7%
Textiles -1.6% -1.3% -0.2% -11.8% -10.4% -7.1% -5.0% -14.3%
Transportation -2.2% -5.6% 1.3% -23.6% -11.0% 4.2% 0.7% -29.0%
Product Group
Consumer Goods -1.3% -5.2% 2.7% -14.7% -9.0% 0.1% -1.9% -21.4%
Intermediate Goods -0.7% -1.3% 1.0% -4.3% -5.3% 2.1% 3.1% -7.5%
Investment Goods 0.5% -4.3% 1.1% -10.8% -7.2% -2.5% 0.2% -11.9%
Mining 4.2% 1.4% 2.3% 36.4% -1.3% 0.6% 5.9% 41.3%
Electricity & Gas 3.8% -11.4% 9.7% 3.7% 3.5% -0.2% 4.2% -8.0%
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