Japan’s factory output falls in June

Tokyo: Japan’s factory output dropped in June for the second consecutive month, official figures showed on Tuesday, underscoring the patchy nature of the country’s economic recovery.
The trade and industry ministry said output was down 2.1 per cent in June from the previous month, far more than expectations for a 0.3 per cent decline.
The fall was the second consecutive monthly drop and was the result largely of a decline in the production of chip-making equipment, said Hirotaka Yazawa, economist at Mizuho Research Institute.
“But given that the outlook for production in July is positive, I see the decline as a matter of timing,” caused by a temporary adjustment in production, he said.
The decline “does not mean the economy is slowing down,” he added.
The latest figures come as the Bank of Japan is due to announce a policy decision later on Tuesday after a two-day meeting.
Market watchers have speculated that the central bank could make minor changes to its ultra-loose monetary easing programme. New data from Japan’s labour ministry released on Tuesday meanwhile showed the jobless rate edged up to 2.4 per cent in June from a 26-year low of 2.2 per cent the previous month. — AFP