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Japan Industrial Output Falls Again

Japanese industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 9.4 percent in February from the previous month, marking the fifth straight month of decline.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 9.4 percent in February from the previous month, revised slightly upward from a 9.5 percent slide based on preliminary data, the government said Wednesday.

The industrial output index stood at 69.5 against the base of 100 for 2005, still the lowest among comparable figures over the last four years, as the global economic slump has slowed production of such industries as transport equipment and electrical machinery, said the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The output marked a fall for the fifth month running, the longest slump since 2001. But the pace of slide slowed after the index fell a record 10.1 percent in January, as a result of recent progress in inventory cuts, the ministry said.

The production of transport equipment including cars and trucks slumped 22.5 percent, leading the overall decline.

METI amended preliminary and revised figures of industrial production for a period from January last year to February this year as part of its periodic review on seasonally adjustment methods.

As a result, it altered the figure of the preliminary fall for February to 9.5 percent from 9.4 percent announced March 30.

Since the preliminary figure was compiled based on limited data, it calculated the revised figure by adding more data and arrived at the revised figure of a 9.4 percent fall.

The index of industrial shipments, meanwhile, lost 6.1 percent to an index reading of 72.0, compared with the initially reported 6.6 percent fall, while that of inventory dropped 4.2 percent, unchanged from the earlier report, to a reading of 103.5.

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