Industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent in April to set a record high, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Tuesday.
The index of output at mines and factories rose to 105.3 against the base of 100 for 2000, topping the previous high of 104.9 logged last December, METI said in the preliminary report.
April’s figure marked the second monthly gain in a row and is the highest set for industrial production since January 1953 on an adjusted basis. It came in slightly below the market’s average forecast of 1.6 percent.
Growth was notable in production of semiconductor-manufacturing equipment and flat-panel displays for export to other Asian economies. Other contributions came from cars for export to North America and turbines for domestic power plants, a METI official said.
Output of railroad vehicles, bridge materials and food cans also rose.
But production of electronic parts and devices slipped as increasing demand for audiovisual equipment in the runup to the World Cup soccer finals in June paused, with April falling between the launch of new mobile phone models, he said.
The output fall for the devices was “within the scope of assumption,” the official said.
The ministry left its basic assessment for production unchanged, repeating for the fifth straight month that activity is “gradually drifting upward.”
The index for industrial shipments climbed 2.6 percent to a record 109.3.
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