Japanese industrial production rose in April after Kumamoto earthquakes that killed almost 1500 people on the Southern Island of Kyushu disrupted production and delayed business activities.
Industrial production grew 0.3 percent from 3.8 percent in March, against 1.4 percent forecast by economists. This is the second consecutive month industrial output has risen, according to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Year-on-year, production decreased by 3.5 percent from the previous year.
Japanese Industrial Production was boosted in April mainly by industries in chemicals (excluding drugs), electrical machinery, general purpose, production and business oriented machinery. Production is forecast to increase 2.2 percent in May and 0.3 percent in June.
Shipments surged 1.5 percent from the previous month, but plunged 3.6 percent year-on-year. While change in inventories decreased by 1.7 percent in April for second consecutive month, but rose 0.1 percent on a yearly basis.
Overall, the Japanese economy appears to still be struggling with weak consumer spending and low confidence, but with a stable employment conditions. This further increase the probability that Prime Minister Abe will delay the proposed sales-tax increase planned for April 2017.