Japan Downgrades Industrial Output Report For May

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government on Monday revised downward Japan's industrial output for May, saying it rose a seasonally adjusted 5.7 percent from the previous month, compared with the earlier reported 5.9 percent rise.

The revised figure, which still represents the third straight monthly gain thanks to robustness in the auto industry, was the third-sharpest rise on record, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

The index of output at mines and factories stood at 79.1 against the base of 100 for 2005, also slightly lowered from the previously reported 79.2.

The downgrading came on sluggish production figures for some medical products, which were not available when the preliminary report was publicized on June 29. Weaker output was also marked in the food and liquor sectors, the ministry said.

But overall production remains on an upward momentum. The May result amounted to the third-fastest rise after the 7.9 percent advance in March 1953 and the 5.9 percent climb in April.

The output of transport equipment makers, including car manufacturers, rose 25.5 percent, upgraded from the earlier reported 24.8 percent growth, on robust exports of passenger vehicles to North America and Europe.

The index of industrial shipments gained 4.8 percent -- up from the preliminary 4.5 percent rise -- to an index reading of 78.9.

The index of industrial inventories came to 96.4, down 0.7 percent against the 0.6 percent fall in the preliminary report. The fall of the index signals that Japanese manufacturers have made progress in their inventory adjustments.

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