Industrial production in Japan contracted a seasonally adjusted 6.6 percent on month in January, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Wednesday’s preliminary reading.
That missed forecasts for a decline of 4.0 percent following the 2.9 percent gain in December.
On a yearly basis, industrial production added 2.7 percent – again missing forecasts for 5.3 percent and down from 4.4 percent in the previous month.
Upon the release of the data, the METI maintained its assessment of industrial production saying that it is picking up slowly.
Industries that weakened in January included transport equipment, business-oriented machinery and electronic parts and devices.
Shipments were down 5.6 percent on month and up 4201percent on year.
Industries that were down included transport equipment, business oriented machinery and electronic parts – while communications electronics equipment was up.
Inventories shed 0.6 percent on month and climbed 1.4 percent on year.
Industries in contraction included business oriented machinery, transport equipment and iron and steel. Industries that were up included ceramics, non-ferrous metals and chemicals.
According to the survey of production forecast, industrial output is expected rise 9.0 percent in February and fall 2.7 percent in March.
Industries that are expected to contribute to the increase in February include business oriented machinery, transport equipment and electronic parts.
Industries expected to contribute to the decline in March include electronic devices, electrical machinery and transport equipment.
Also on Wednesday, the METI said that retail sales in Japan were down a seasonally adjusted 1.8 percent on month in January.
That missed forecasts for a decline of 0.6 percent following the 0.9 percent gain in December.
On a yearly basis, retail sales advanced 1.6 percent – again missing expectations for a gain of 2.4 percent and slowing from 3.6 percent in the previous month.
Sales from large retailers advanced an annual 0.5 percent – exceeding forecasts for 0.4 percent and slowing from 1.1 percent a month earlier.