Production by the nation’s electronics industry in 1998 is estimated to have fallen 6.2 percent from last year to 24.12 trillion yen, the first drop in five years, an industry association said Thursday.

The Electronic Industries Association of Japan meanwhile predicted that electronics makers’ output will grow 2 percent in 1999 to 24.61 trillion yen. The association blamed the poor performance this year on the nation’s economic slump and lower exports to other parts of Asia.

By segment, consumer electronics output on the year is estimated to have declined by 6.4 percent, industrial electronic equipment by 5.6 percent, and components and devices by 6.8 percent.

The association forecasts that economic recovery will push up production in the equipment sector by 1.4 percent in 1999, and in the components and devices sector by 3.2 percent.

Consumer electronics should see a slight increase of 0.6 percent in 1999, helped by continuing expansion of the digital electronics market for items such as minidisc players, digital video cameras and car navigation systems, the association said.

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