• Kyodo

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The nation’s industrial production is likely to return to levels seen before the March 11 disaster in the third quarter, a Bank of Japan policymaker said Thursday.

“We initially thought supply-side constraints would ease from this fall,” BOJ Policy Board member Yoshihisa Morimoto told a meeting of business leaders in Nagasaki.

“But now it is increasingly possible that production will return to levels seen before the earthquake in the July-September period” on the strength of efforts made by companies.

Industrial output dropped a record 15.5 percent in March from February as the quake and tsunami disrupted nationwide supply chains of key components, crippling manufacturers, especially auto and high-tech makers, and slowing their exports.

Morimoto said the economy continues to face downward pressure, mainly on the production side, but added, “It is a fact that some development for recovery can be seen.”

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