Japan’s industrial production plummets

December 26th, 2008 - 11:54 am ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Dec 26 (DPA) Japan’s industrial output suffered a record fall in November, as unemployment numbers rose and slowing inflation rates caused deflation fears, officials said Friday.The Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry said production dropped by 8.1 percent compared to the previous month, the largest drop on record since 1953, as foreign demand in cars or electronic goods plunged, dealing a heavy blow to Japan’s export-oriented industry.

Industry output was sinking “rapidly”, the ministry said, predicting another 8 percent drop for December, and a 2.1 percent drop for January.

As Japan drifts deeper into recession, large companies have laid off thousands of temporary workers, thereby swelling the unemployed ranks to 3.9 percent in November, a 0.2 percent rise compared with the previous month.

One in three jobs in Japan is temporary, making job security a key issue for the Japanese public.

In November, 2.56 million people were officially unemployed, 100,000 more than in the same month last year. For every 100 jobseekers there were only 76 jobs on offer.

Private consumption dropped by 0.5 percent, the ninth monthly drop in a row, but was lower than expected.

Annual consumer inflation slowed to 1.0 percent in November from 1.9 percent the previous month, raising fears of a return to deflation.

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