Japan Industrial Production Rose 3.4% In July; Revised Data Shows

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Japan
Japan's Mt. Fuji, covered with snow, is seen through Shinjuku skyscrapers in Tokyo.

The final reading of Japan’s industrial production for July rose to a seasonally adjusted 3.4 percent, beating analyst calls that had forecast no change from its preliminary reading of 3.2 percent growth for the month, data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, on Friday, showed.

The data showed that industrial production, which measures change in the total inflation-adjusted value of output produced by manufacturers, mines, and utilities, grew 1.8 percent year-on-year in July, up from the provisional reading of a 1.6 percent rise. Industrial production had declined by 3.1 percent in June.

Meanwhile, the capacity utilization rate, which refers to the extent to which an enterprise or a nation actually uses its installed productive capacity, rose 3.7 percent in July, up from a decline of 2.3 percent in the preceding month, indicating that industrial activity in the nation is picking up.

The country, earlier this week, had upwardly revised its real gross domestic product, or GDP, in the second quarter to 0.9 percent, from 0.6 percent in the second preliminary estimate, and the seasonally adjusted annual rate of growth in the nation’s economy was upwardly revised to 3.8 percent from 2.6 percent.  

The positive data indicate that growth in the world’s third-largest economy is gaining momentum, albeit at a modest rate. The Bank of Japan, in its last policy meeting, had said Japan’s economy is on its way to achieving sustained growth, and had reiterated that it would continue to expand the country’s monetary basis, under its Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Policy Easing program, to stimulate growth.

The nation’s ultra-loose monetary policy has driven down the value of yen against the dollar, aiding the country’s export sector, while negatively impacting its energy and other import-oriented sectors. Japan, which has shut down most of its nuclear power reactors is heavily depended on imports to meet its energy demands. 

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