Carmakers’ output jumps 16.8%

Kyodo News

Vehicle production in July rose 16.8 percent from a year earlier to 866,762 units, increasing for the ninth consecutive month, an industry body said Tuesday.

Production of cars grew 16.0 percent to 746,248 units, while that of trucks increased 21.9 percent to 110,846 units, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. Bus production expanded 24.7 percent to 9,668 units.

Exports of vehicles rose 24.4 percent to 422,641 units from the same month last year, marking the seventh straight month of increase, the association said.

By region, exports to other parts of Asia grew 36.9 percent to 47,453 units, while those to Latin America leaped by 81.9 percent to 32,654 units. Exports to North America, the main export destination for Japanese-made vehicles, grew 15.2 percent to 158,417 units.

Industry output up

Industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in July from the previous month, turning upward for the first time in two months on greater production of general machinery and chemical products, the government said Tuesday.

The headline reading was stronger than the average market forecast of a 0.3 percent fall in a Kyodo News survey.

The index of output at factories and mines stood at 95.3 against the base of 100 for 2005, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report.

Looking ahead, manufacturers polled by METI anticipate output will rise 1.6 percent in August and grow 0.2 percent in September.

Reflecting July’s results and the outlook in the coming months, the ministry left its basic assessment on output unchanged, saying, “Industrial production continues to show an upward movement.”

But it also continued to warn that there are “moves toward a standstill,” as the number of sectors reducing output overwhelmed those with greater production. A total of 10 sectors marked a drop, while five sectors rose and one was unchanged.