The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry downgraded its assessment of the country’s industrial activity for the third consecutive month Thursday, despite modest growth observed in February.
Industrial output for February increased 0.4 percent from the previous month, marking the first growth in two months. The seasonally adjusted production index at mines and factories reached 103.3 against a 100-point benchmark established in 1995. , according to a preliminary report. However, the growth is considered modest after industrial output in January showed a considerable decline of 4.2 percent on a month-on-month basis and the ministry decided to further downgrade its overall assessment, a ministry official said.
As an overall assessment, the ministry now believes the country’s industrial activity has weakened for the first time since February 1998, a downgrade from the “leveled off” stated in January’s report.
While the ministry attributed the month-on-month increase in industrial output to such items as cars for the domestic market and digital copy machines, the official said that production of parts used for such items as personal computers is not good.
The ministry expects industrial output to decline 0.8 percent in March and to grow 0.6 percent in April on a month-on-month basis.
Shipments for February grew 0.7 percent from the previous month, marking the first growth in two months. The seasonally adjusted index of shipments reached 106.
Inventories also increased 0.7 percent on a month-on-month basis, showing growth for two consecutive m
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