Japan's April Factory Output Inches Up

TOKYO (AP) — Japan says its industrial production inched up 0.2 percent in April from March for a second monthly gain amid a fragile recovery in manufacturing following last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported Thursday that output was lifted by higher production of cars, auto parts and chemicals.

But the gain narrowed from the 1.3 percent increase in March amid declining production of electronic parts for cell phones and other communication equipment.

Manufacturers surveyed by METI projected output would slide 3.2 percent in May but bounce back 2.4 percent in June.