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Economy in Brief

Japanese Mining and Manufacturing Producers in a Free Fall in November
by Louise Curley January 19, 2009

The seasonally adjusted index of industrial production in Japan fell 8.5% in November from October, the largest one-month decline in the entire history of the index that began in January 1953. (See the first chart.)

Mining and manufacturing shipments declined a record 8.4% from October to November. Although the percentage decline in production was slightly greater than the decline in shipments, inventories rose by 0.8%. The small increase in inventories and the large decline in shipments resulted in an inventory/sales ratio of 1.27 in November, the largest on record. (See the second chart.)

The rise in the inventory/sales ratio suggests that the industrial production is unlikely to recover soon.

On a year-over-year basis, the November unadjusted industrial production index was 16.62% below November 2007, the second biggest year-over-year decline since February 1975 when the index was 19.32% below February 1974. Among the hardest hit industries were Electronic Parts and Devices, down 25.8%, Transport Equipment, down 24.4% and Electric Machinery, down 13.8%.

JAPAN  Nov 08 Oct 08  Sep 08  Aug 09 July 08 2007 2006 2005
Industrial Production 2005=100 (SA) 93.6 102.3 105.6 104.5  108.3 107.4 104.5 100.0
Month to Month % Change (SA) -8.50 -3.13 1.05 -3.51 1.31 -- -- --
Year to Year % Change Total IP (NSA) -16.62 -7.05 0.18 -6.90 2.41 -- -- --
  Year to Year % Change Electric Machinery   -13.77 -1.43 2.51 -6.20 0.38 -1.25 4.67 0.87
  Year to Year % Change Electronic parts and Devices  -25.85 -12.12 1.44 -6.44 -1.79 11.17 17.82 1.95
  Year to Year % Change Transport Equipment  -24.41 -9.61 2.04 -10.11 19.05 5.75 5.81 4.79
9COLSPAN
Producers' Shipments 2005=100  (SA) 93.5 102.1 105.3 104.9 108.9 107.8 104.6 100.0
Producers' Inventories  (SA) 110.4 109.5 107.6 105.5 105.8 103.9 102.1 100.0
Inventory/Sales Ratio 127.0 112.5 108.3 109.0 101.2 100.3 100.1 100.0
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