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Industrial output in April increased 0.2 percent from March and recorded growth for the third consecutive month, prompting the government Wednesday to upgrade its assessment for the first time in three months.

The seasonally adjusted production index at mines and factories in April came to 93 against the 1995 base of 100, according to a preliminary report by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The ministry upgraded its overall assessment on production activity, saying there is “a sign of improvement.”

The increase in output was led by demand for electronics devices and automobiles in the rest of Asia and the United States, a ministry official said.

He also attributed the positive assessment to forecasts that manufacturing would climb 5.1 percent in May before edging down 0.4 percent in June.

The ministry remains cautious, however, on whether industrial activity will grow steadily.

“Inventory adjustments have made considerable progress, and a sign of improvement (in production activities) has been observed,” the official said, adding that uncertainty remains because views on the U.S. economy are divided.

The recovery remains limited to certain products, including electronics parts, and has not spread to such consumer electronics as personal computers and mobile phones, he said.

Inventories declined 1.6 percent from March, showing a decrease for eight consecutive months. The seasonally adjusted index came to 88.8, the lowest figure since April 1989, when the index stood at 88.4.

Inventories in April declined 10.6 percent year-on-year. The width of the decline is the largest since the ministry began the survey in 1954.

Shipments in April increased 0.8 percent from the previous month, marking an increase for five consecutive months. The seasonally adjusted index of shipments was 96.7.

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