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Japan faces steepest industrial decline in nearly four years, -7.5% mom drop in Jan

Japan’s industrial production faced a significant downturn in January, recording a -7.5% mom decline in production, marking the sharpest drop since May 2020. This downturn was slightly more severe than the anticipated -7.3% mom, with a widespread decrease across 14 of the 15 surveyed industries. Motor vehicles sector experienced the most substantial fall, plummeting by -17.8% mom, driven by declines in regular passenger cars and electrical drive systems.

Manufacturers remain somewhat optimistic, anticipating a rebound with of 4.8% in output for February and a further 2.0% rise in March, as surveyed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. However, these forecasted gains are deemed insufficient by METI officials to fully counterbalance the steep January decline.

In contrast to the industrial sector’s struggles, Japan’s retail sales presented a brighter picture, rising 2.3% yoy in January, surpassing the expected 2.0% increase.

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