RTTNews - Industrial production in Japan jumped 5.9 percent in May compared to the previous month, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report on Monday, rising for the third consecutive month.

That was lower than analyst expectations for a 6.9 percent increase following the 5.9 percent gain in April.

Shipments were up 4.5 percent on month, while inventories were down 0.6 percent and the shipment-inventory ration came in 0.1 percent higher.

On an annual basis, output fell 29.5 percent versus forecasts for a 28.3 percent contraction after the 30.7 percent decline in the previous month. Shipments were down 30 percent and inventories dropped 8.3 percent.

The transport equipment industry supported the increase in production, as did electronics parts and steel and iron. Output also got a boost from passenger cars, portable telephones and auto parts.

Japanese companies' forecast for industrial output in June is up 3.1 percent on month, followed by a 0.9 percent gain in July.

Also on Monday, the METI said that retail sales in Japan eased 2.8 percent on year in May to 10.74 trillion yen, falling for the ninth consecutive month. That compares to forecasts for a 2.6 percent annual decline following the 2.8 percent contraction in April.

On a monthly basis, retail sales were flat, in line with forecasts after the 0.6 percent increase in the previous month.

Sales from large-scale retailers dropped a seasonally adjusted 6.5 percent on year to 1.618 trillion yen, the data showed, slightly worse than forecasts for a 6.2 percent fall after the 6.7 percent decline a month earlier.

The report also showed that commercial sales dropped an annual 24.3 percent to 38.392 trillion yen and wholesale sales fell 30.3 percent to 27.653 trillion yen.

As a result of the data, the METI has upgraded its assessment of retail sales for the first time since November.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com