RTTNews - Industrial production in Japan grew for the fourth consecutive month in June, although at a much slower pace compared to May, an official report showed Thursday.

Data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that industrial output rose a seasonally adjusted 2.4% month-on-month in June, after rising a revised 5.7% in the preceding month. Most economists expected a 2.5% rise in production.

Manufacturing output, with the maximum weight in the index, grew 2.5% in June, after a 5.5% rise in the preceding month. Mining output was up 0.4%, following a 3.5% drop in the preceding month.

The industries that contributed to the increase in industrial output were electronic parts and devices, steel and iron, as also chemicals, excluding drugs.

Shipments increased 3.5% in June, slower than the revised 4.8% rise in May, while inventories dropped 1% after a revised 0.7% fall in the previous month. The inventories ratio decreased 9.8%, the first in two months.

Year-on-year, industrial output slipped an unadjusted 23.4%, slower than the 29.5% drop in May and also slower than the 23.6% fall expected by economists.

The ministry said that based on the survey of production forecast for manufacturing, output is expected to increase 1.6% in July and 3.3% in August.

Meanwhile, in a report released on July 29, Japan's Ministry of Finance upgraded its economic assessment for the regional economy. This is the first time the ministry has raised its view since April 2004.

In June, both the Bank of Japan and the Cabinet Office raised their economic forecast for the second consecutive month. The central bank said conditions have begun to stop worsening after deteriorating significantly. Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office said the economy had bottomed out as exports and factory output recovered from sharp declines.

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