• Kyodo News


Industrial output in December was downgraded to a rise of 1.9 percent from an earlier reported growth rate of 2.2 percent as chemical industry production slowed, the government said Monday.

The index of production at factories and mines advanced from the previous month for the 10th straight time to 89.7 against the base of 100 for 2005, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

The index of industrial shipments, meanwhile, gained a downwardly revised 1.0 percent to 90.5. The preliminary report the ministry released Jan. 29 said it rose 1.1 percent.

The index of industrial inventories dropped 0.1 percent to 93.6, suggesting progress in inventory cut by manufacturers. The earlier report said the index was unchanged.

Production at the chemical sector dropped 2.8 percent, compared with an earlier 0.7 percent slide, on the slower pace of output of such products as medicines, METI said.

The downward revision bucked the overall upward momentum.

The ministry left its key assessment unchanged, saying, “Developments for a recovery in production remain intact.”

Among key industries, electronic parts and device makers expanded their production 6.4 percent, while general machinery makers saw a 6.3 percent rise. The electronic parts sector marked a 6.5 rise and device makers a 6.1 percent surge in the preliminary report.

Through 2009, industrial production slipped 22.4 percent from the previous year to 80.5 for the second consecutive year of falls, with the government announcing no change to the preliminary figures. The shipment index also remained intact, sliding 21.7 percent to 81.7.

METI revised the index for inventory, saying it lost 14.7 percent — against an earlier 14.6 percent fall — to 93.0. The revised figures indicated manufacturers embarked on inventory cuts at a faster pace than earlier thought.

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