Japan’s industrial output fell 4.6% month-on-month in January, the largest decline in eight months

Japan’s industrial production in January fell at the largest rate in eight months,due to the contraction of overseas demand caused by the global economic slowdown,which seriously affected business activities.

Government data released on Tuesday showed that industrial output fell 4.6%month-on-month in January after adjusting for seasonal factors.This contraction was far higher than the median 2.6%decline predicted by economists,while the data in December increased by 0.3%after revision.

The output of automobile products fell by 10.1%,dragging down the overall index.The output of production machinery and electronic components and other projects decreased by 13.5%and 4.2%respectively.

The data also showed that manufacturers surveyed by the Ministry of Economy and Industry of Japan(METI)expected output to increase by 8.0%in February and 0.7%in March,although the official survey tended to report an optimistic outlook.

Another data released on Tuesday showed that retail sales in Japan increased 6.3%year-on-year in January,higher than the market forecast of 4.0%,and achieved growth for the 11th consecutive month.

The data showed that retail sales increased by 1.9%in January compared with the previous month.