TOKYO (AP) - Japanese industrial output rose for the first time in four months in June, growing 1.2 percent from May, as electronics makers boosted production to meet strong demand at home and overseas, the government said Monday.
In more good news, manufacturers project that output will rise 1.8 percent in July and jump 4.9 percent in August, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
The figures reinforced expectations the Bank of Japan will raise interest rates in August from the current 0.5 percent. The June result, adjusted for seasonal factors, matched an average forecast of economists.
However, the ministry cautioned that the projections for July and August may be merely a reflection of manufacturers' sales goals for the year. The survey, conducted on July 10, also did not reflect damages from a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in northwestern Japan on July 16, which caused a temporary nationwide suspension of car production due to quake damages at a major engine parts supplier.
Industrial output had fallen marginally the previous three months: down 0.3 percent in May, 0.2 percent in April and 0.3 percent in March.
Growing output in electronics parts, transport equipment and communication devices contributed to the increase in June, the ministry said. Production of electronic parts and devices rose 3.2 percent in June and manufacturers estimate a further 3.5 percent rise in July and 6.7 percent increase in August, the data showed.