Japanese Industrial Output Rises by 4 Percent in December

Posted January 31st, 2012 at 12:25 am (UTC-5)
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Japanese industrial production made a bigger than expected rebound in December, as manufacturers compensated for major floods in Thailand by boosting production in Japan.

Government figures released Tuesday showed that factory output rose by 4 percent from November, when production took a hit after supply chains were disrupted by Thailand’s worst flooding in seven decades.

The Trade and Industry Ministry said the recovery was driven by increased output in the automotive and electronic component industries.

Surveyed manufacturers predict that industrial output will continue to rebound. They project a 2.5 percent increase in January and 1.2 percent increase in February.

Some analysts warn that the encouraging figures may only represent a temporary rebound, and that Japanese exports will continue to suffer from a strong yen and weak external demand.

Industrial output for the entire year fell by 3.5 percent, as manufacturers also struggled to deal with the effects of a March earthquake and tsunami, as well as the European debt crisis.

Meanwhile, data showed that Japan’s unemployment rate rose to 4.6 percent in December, up from 4.5 percent a month earlier.