Industrial production in Japan climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on month in August, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said in Friday’s preliminary reading.
That was shy of forecasts for an increase of 1.4 percent following the 0.1 percent decline in July.
On a yearly basis, industrial production added 0.6 percent – again missing forecasts for an increase of 1.5 percent and down sharply from 2.2 percent in the previous month.
Upon the release of the data, the METI’s assessment of industrial production was that it is “picking up slowly but shows signs of decrease in part.”
Industries that continued to the increase included transport equipment, business oriented machinery and plastics – while electronic parts, chemicals and fabricated metals were down.
Inventories were down 0.4 percent on month and up 2.9 percent, while shipments gained 2.1 percent on month and 0.9 percent on year. The inventory ratio fell 2.2 percent on month and jumped 3.9 percent on year.
According to the METI’s forecast for industrial production, output is expected to rise 2.7 percent in September and 1.7 percent in October.
Also on Friday:
• The METI said that the value of retail sales in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent on month in August, beating forecasts for an increase of 0.5 percent and up from 0.1 percent in July.
On a yearly basis, retail sales jumped 2.7 percent – again exceeding expectations for 2.0 percent and up from 1.5 percent in the previous month.
Sales from large retailers dipped 0.1 percent on year, shy of expectations for an increase of 0.3 percent following the 1.6 percent contraction a month earlier.
• The jobless rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in August, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said – beneath expectations for 2.5 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous month.
The job-to-applicant ratio was 1.63 – unchanged and matching forecasts. The number of employed persons in August 2018 was 66.82 million, an increase of 1.09 million or 1.7 percent on year.
The number of unemployed persons in August 2018 was 1.70 million, a decrease of 190,000 or 10.1 percent on year.
• Consumer prices in the Tokyo region were up 1.3 percent on year in September, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. That exceeded expectations for 1.1 percent and was up from 1.2 percent in August.
Core CPI, which excludes the costs of fresh food, advanced an annual 1.0 percent – also above expectations for 0.9 percent, which would have been unchanged.
On a monthly basis, overall Tokyo inflation was up 0.1 percent and core CPI was flat.