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Japan's Industrial Output Down, Unemployment Flat

Industrial output dropped a seasonally adjusted 2.6 percent in November, the first decline in two months.

TOKYO (AP) β€” Japan's industrial output dropped last month β€” with production, shipments and inventory figures all decreasing β€” but government forecasters had manufacturing and production looking for a rebound this month and next, officials said Wednesday.

The unemployment rate adjusted for seasonal differences was unchanged in November from the previous month, at 4.5 percent, the government also announced.

Industrial output dropped a seasonally adjusted 2.6 percent in November, according to the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry. It was the first decline in two months.

It said industries contributing most to the decrease were transport equipment, information and communication electronics equipment and iron and steel. Large and small passenger cars and cellphones were among the commodities adding to the decline.

The ministry described the data as "flat," and said manufacturing and production were expected to increase 4.8 percent in December and to increase 3.4 percent in January

In other economic data announced Wednesday, the government said the core Consumer Price Index fell 0.2 percent in November from year-earlier figures, its second consecutive monthly fall. The index, which does not include fresh foods, was 99.6 against the 2010 base of 100.

Core CPI for Tokyo in December β€” considered an indicator of future trends for the entire country β€” fell 0.3 percent.

In recent years, Japan has wrestled with deflation, or falling prices, which can drag on economic growth.

The ratio of job offers to job seekers was 0.69 in November, an improvement from 0.67 the previous month.

Figures released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs said there were 2.80 million people unemployed in Japan in November.

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