Japanese industrial output sees record fall in January

February 27th, 2009 - 12:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Feb 27 (DPA) Japan’s industrial output underwent a record fall of 10 percent in January amid shrinking export demand, and consumers cut spending as the recession in the world’s second-largest economy worsened, the Japanese government reported Friday.
The 10 percent fall in industrial production in seasonally adjusted terms from December broke the previous record fall of 9.8 percent recorded in December. It also was the fourth-straight monthly decline.

The statistics were released after the government reported this week that exports plummeted 45.7 percent last month and said last week that Japan’s economy had contracted at an annualised pace of 12.7 percent in the October-to-December quarter.

Japan’s export-oriented economy has been suffering under falling demand from recession-plagued Europe and the US and a stronger yen.

Japan’s consumers also spent less in January than the same month a year before.

Average monthly household spending fell a real 5.9 percent in January to 291,440 yen ($2,975), marking the fastest pace of decline since September 2006.

Household spending figures are a key indicator of personal spending, which accounts for more than half of Japan’s gross domestic product.

However, the average monthly income of salaried households rose 1 percent to 443,337 yen.

Japan’s jobless rate dropped 0.2 percentage points from December to January to 4.1 percent, but the government kept its assessment of the nation’s employment conditions as “sharply deteriorating”.

The number of jobless increased 210,000 from the same month a year earlier to 2.77 million, which is “still staying at a high level”, a government official said.

In January, there were 67 jobs available for every 100 job seekers.

Japan’s core consumer price index for January was unchanged from the same month a year ago because of falls in the prices of gasoline and other fuels. On a month-to-month bases, it fell 0.6 percent.

The core nationwide consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, stood at 100.5 against 100 for the base year of 2005, according to a preliminary government report.

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