Japan's January Industrial Production Drops

Production fell for automakers and general machinery manufacturers, rose for electronic parts and device producers.

TOKYO, March 14 (Kyodo) – Japan's industrial production shrank a seasonally adjusted 1.7 percent in January from the previous month, revised downward from a 1.5 percent fall in the preliminary reading, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Wednesday.

The index of output at mines and factories posted a reading of 107.8 against the base of 100 for 2000, marking the first decline in four months, the ministry said in a revised report. The contraction followed a 0.9 percent increase in December.

Production fell for automakers, general machinery manufacturers, and information and communications equipment makers, but rose for chemical makers, electronic parts and device manufacturers, the ministry said.

The index of industrial shipments eased 0.2 percent to 111.5, an improvement from a preliminary 0.3 percent contraction.

The index of industrial inventories dropped 1.0 percent to 97.3, down from a preliminary 0.9 percent fall.

The factory operating-rate index sagged a seasonably adjusted 2.9 percent in January from the previous month to 106.1, down from a 1.7 percent increase in December. The index for production capacity came to an unadjusted 93.8, down 0.2 percent from the previous month.