Japan’s industrial output grew for the fifth month in October. In the month, factory output rose by 3.8pc from the preceding month. The increase was driven by growth in the auto manufacturing and general machinery sectors. Economic activities in most Asian countries are recovering after the pandemic.
Retail sales in Japan rose in October for the first time in eight months, with a 6.4pc rise compared to Oct 2019. In September, retail sales had dropped by 8.7pc from September 2019.
According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), industrial output is likely to increase by another 2.7pc in November, maintaining an uptrend for the sixth month. The rally could, however, break in December with a decline of 2.4pc amid seasonal concerns.
Industrial inventories across all categories dropped 1.6pc in October, a seventh straight month of decline. JISF reported that inventories of iron, steel, and non-ferrous metals registered a steep decline in October.
Auto output up in October
According to the data by the top eight car makers, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, and Subaru, total domestic car production stood at 805,158 units in October, up 2pc from September.
Toyota’s car production in Japan increased by 12pc in October from the same month in the prior year. While the production in China grew by 10pc. The carmaker’s global output rose by 9pc from September.
According to the Japan automobile dealers association, new domestic sales in October rose by 35pc from the previous year to 221,487 units, marking the first year-on-year increase since September 2019.
Concerns on the resurgence of COVID-19
Despite October retail sales registering an increase, there is a possibility of a slowdown in the coming months due to a resurgence in COVID-19 infections. On November 28th, new infections in Japan registered the highest daily tally so far. Exports to China and the US could, thus, fall after the first quarter next year.