Japanese Auto Production Plunges 41 Percent

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's auto production fell for the eighth straight month in May, plummeting 41.4 percent from a year earlier, as the nation's top industry continued to be hammered by the global slowdown.

Japan produced 542,282 vehicles in May, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said Monday in a monthly report.

The industry group also said exports from Japan declined for the eighth straight month, plunging 55.9 percent from a year earlier to 233,217 vehicles.

Japan has been battling a global slump for months.

In a separate report, which showed some signs that Japanese manufacturers may be gradually recovering, Japan's industrial output rose for the third straight month in May.

Industrial production in the world's second-biggest economy rose 5.9 percent from the previous month, matching a rise in April that marked the biggest jump since March 1953.

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