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Economy in Brief

Japan’s Industrial Output Recoups Some of Loss
by Robert Brusca October 29, 2008

Japan’s IP fell sharply by 3.5% in August, but it has made a substantial rebound in September. Still the trends for IP all are lower, as the sequential growth rates in the table below show. The rebounds by sector in September are only about one-third of the drop made in August.

Year-over-year, Japan’s IP is still rising at a 2.7% pace. Consumer goods output is up by a strong 3.9% while investment goods output is up by 0.5% at an annual rate. The investment goods side is slowing down faster than the consumer goods side.

That trend is in place for the quarter as well. With the September figures just in to complete the quarter, Q3 reveals that overall IP is falling at a 5% pace in MFG. Investment goods output is dropping at a sizeable 13.2% pace while the output of consumer goods is still up at a 4.1% pace. Since consumers are showing weakness around the world in terms of lower confidence and reduced spending and since Japan is a strong exporter of consumer goods this sector is due to get hit much harder.

Japan Industrial Production Trends
  m/m % Saar % Yr/Yr Qtr-to-Date
seas adjusted Sep-08 Aug-08 Jul-08 3-mo 6-mo 12-mo Yr-Ago % AR
Mining & Mfg 1.2% -3.5% 1.3% -4.1% -1.3% -1.9% 2.7% -4.8%
Total Industry 1.1% -3.6% 1.5% -4.1% -1.3% -2.1% 3.0% -4.5%
MFG 1.1% -3.5% 1.2% -4.8% -1.7% -2.1% 2.8% -5.0%
Textiles -1.4% -0.2% -2.9% -16.6% -13.7% -10.6% -6.8% -16.2%
T-port 4.4% -9.8% 4.0% -7.9% -1.2% -1.3% 10.4% -7.4%
Product Group
Consumer Goods 0.9% -3.3% 3.6% 4.5% 4.3% 0.6% 3.9% 4.1%
Intermediate Goods 0.5% -2.3% -0.2% -7.8% -3.6% -1.8% 3.4% -5.6%
Investment Goods 4.7% -5.2% -0.5% -5.1% -2.4% -4.9% 0.5% -13.2%
Mining -4.4% 1.6% 4.2% 4.7% 2.5% -1.4% 1.8% 12.4%
Electricity & Gas 2.0% -7.6% 6.3% 0.4% -0.8% -3.9% 8.8% -1.8%
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