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TOKYO — Japan’s industrial output rose in October for the first time in four months as re-opening of Asian factories eased supply constraints for automakers, offering some hope for the export-reliant economy as it struggles to mount a solid recovery.
The increase, however, was smaller than market expectations, underscoring the lingering impact of global supply chain disruptions.
Factory output grew 1.1% from the previous month in October, government data showed on Wednesday, marking the first increase since June. It compared with a 1.8% gain forecast in a Reuters poll of economists and followed a 5.4% decline in the previous month.
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Auto production rose in October for the first time in four months on the waning impact of parts shortages in Asia, a government official told a briefing.
Manufacturers surveyed by the government expect output to jump 9.0% in November, followed by a 2.1% gain in December, the data showed.
“We’ll likely see manufacturers ramp up production in November and December as the impact of chip and parts shortages ease,” the official said, though he warned of downside risks to their November output plans.
Separate data on Tuesday showed Japan’s jobless rate stood at 2.7% in October, down from the previous month, while an index gauging job availability fell to 1.15 from 1.16 in September.
After a contraction in July-September, the world’s third-largest economy is expected to rebound in the current quarter thanks to uptick in consumption partly due to the lifting of the pandemic-induced state of emergency curbs. (Reporting by Kantaro Komiya; Additional reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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