• Reuters, Bloomberg


Japan's factory output shrank for the first time in three months in December as a decline in machinery outweighed a small rise in car production, casting a cloud over the strength of the economic recovery.

Retail sales posted their third straight month of year-on-year gains in December as low COVID-19 cases encouraged shoppers, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Monday. Record infections this month driven by the omicron variant, however, are expected to have hit consumer sentiment.

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