Industrial output in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 4.2 percent on month in January, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Friday.

That beat expectations for an increase of 4.0 percent following the 1.0 percent decline in December.

On a yearly basis, industrial production dropped 5.3 percent – roughly in line with forecasts after slipping 2.6 percent in the previous month.

Upon the release of the data, the METI upgraded its assessment of industrial production, saying that it is now picking up.

Industries that contributed to the increase included business oriented machinery, electronic parts and electrical machinery – offset by declines among transport equipment and petroleum products.

Shipments were up 3.2 percent on month and down 5.1 percent on year, while inventories fell 0.2 percent on month and 10.5 percent on year. The inventory ratio was down 6.3 percent on month and 4.8 percent on year.

According to the METI’s forecast of industrial production, output is expected to rise 2.1 percent on month in February and then fall 6.1 percent in March.

Industries contributing to the increase in February include production machinery, chemicals and electronic parts. Industries contributing to the decline in March include production machinery, electronic parts and business oriented machinery.

Also on Friday:

. The METI also said that the value of retail sales in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent on month in January, coming in at 12.097 trillion yen. That beat expectations for a fall of 0.6 percent following the 0.8 percent decline in December.

On a yearly basis, retail sales dropped 2.4 percent – again exceeding expectations for a fall of 2.6 percent after the 0.2 percent dip in the previous month.

Wholesale sales were up 2.1 percent on month and down 5.3 percent on year at 29.402 trillion yen, while commercial sales rose 0.5 percent on month and sank 4.7 percent on year at 41.499 trillion yen.

. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that overall consumer prices in the Tokyo region of Japan – considered a leading indicator for the nationwide trend – were down 0.3 percent on year in February, following the 0.5 percent decline in January.

Core CPI, which excludes volatile food prices, also was down an annual 0.3 percent versus expectations for a fall of 0.4 percent – which would have been unchanged from the previous month.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, overall inflation was up 0.1 percent and core CPI was flat.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

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