Japan’s industrial output in January has contracted at the fastest pace in eight months due to the global economic slowdown that hit business activities, according to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
The ministry said that Japan’s industrial output fell 4.6% from December on a seasonally adjusted basis, more than the expected 2.6% decline. Auto output fell 10.1% and manufacturing machinery and electronic components fell 13.5% and 4.2%, respectively.
However, manufacturers expect industrial output to rise 8.0% in February and 0.7% in March. Retail sales, on the other hand, rose 6.3% in January compared to the same period in 2022 and 1.9% compared to December, marking the 11th consecutive month of growth.
Japan’s economy, the world’s third-largest, is expected to expand by 1.4% annually in the first quarter of 2023 after a lower-than-expected 0.6% growth in the fourth quarter of 2022.