Japan’s factory output rises, unemployment stays low

Tokyo: Japan’s closely watched factory output rose modestly in February with unemployment staying at record low levels, official data showed on Friday, underscoring the patchy recovery of the world’s third largest economy. Factory output for February rose 1.4 per cent month-on-month after a 3.4 per cent dip in January, the trade and industry ministry said on Friday.
The reading compares with market expectations of a 1.0 per cent rise. “The recovery in output is not strong, reflecting weak exports,” Taro Saito, senior economist at NLI Research Institute, told AFP.
Industrial production was particularly weak in electronic parts and devices, “because these products are for exports to China” and have been affected by a Chinese economic slowdown, he added.
The ministry said Japan’s factory output is “pausing” on the whole, but forecast a rise in March and April. Meanwhile, the country’s jobless rate fell to 2.3 per cent from 2.5 per cent the previous month, its lowest level since 1993, the internal affairs ministry said. — AFP