Industrial output continued its downtrend in March by dropping 1.9 percent, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report released Tuesday.

The decrease followed a sizable 3.9 percent drop in February, and the ministry acknowledged that the downtrend in production activities is now becoming clearer.

The March production index for mines and factories came to a seasonally adjusted 95.9 against the 1990 base index of 100, down 5.3 percent from a year before.

The shipment index also posted a monthly decrease of 1.8 percent to 97.7, while the inventory index dipped 0.4 percent to 113.1, according to the report.

The ministry said the production index is expected to post a further fall of 2.5 percent this month, which will be followed by a modest rebound of 1.2 percent in May.

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