• Kyodo


The industrial production index in March rose 0.3 percent from the previous month, backed by automakers’ efforts to recoup a fall in output in February due to record snowfall, government data showed Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted index of output at factories and mines stood at 101.8 against the base of 100 for 2010. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry maintained its basic assessment of production, saying it “continues to show upward movement.”

Looking ahead, manufacturers polled by the ministry expect output to drop 1.4 percent in April and then edge up 0.1 percent in May. By sector, output by transport equipment makers, including cars, advanced 3.1 percent in March, recovering from a 5.8 percent drop the month before, when heavy snowfall forced automakers to halt operations.

In fiscal 2013, the index, which is not seasonally adjusted, gained 3.2 percent to 98.9 for the first rise in three years.

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