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The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Friday upwardly revised the nation’s industrial production figures for March by 0.3 of a percentage point to 92.8.

In addition, output at mines and factories in the January-March quarter was upwardly revised 0.2 of a point to 92, against the 1995 base of 100. Growth of 0.5 percent had been initially reported.

A METI official attributed the revisions to higher-than-estimated production in March of railroad cars, steel ships and beverages.

Thanks in part to the first upswing in January-March output in five years, the capacity utilization ratio of the same quarter rose 2.7 percent to 90.2, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, declines in production capacity helped buoy the utilization ratio, the official said.

Production capacity dropped 4.2 percent from a year earlier to 93.9 for the largest quarterly slip since comparative data was first tracked in 1969.

In March alone however, the capacity utilization index edged down 0.9 percent to 90.5 for the first fall in four months.

The production capacity index was flat month-to-month and was out of negative territory for the first time in nine months, but compared with the year before, it continued to shrink for the 38th successive month — the longest decline ever recorded — down 4.2 percent to 93.9.

“Whether companies have finished scrapping their excess capacity is not yet certain,” the official said.

The index on industrial shipments, meanwhile, rose a revised 0.9 percent to 95.9 in the reporting month, against the 0.7 percent climb suggested in the preliminary report, and the inventory index dipped a revised 2 percent to 90.2, against the preliminary 2.2 percent fall.

The ratio of inventories to shipments lost a revised 1.7 percent to 108.9, against the 1.3 percent drop suggested before, METI said.

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