Industrial production in Japan drops to 13-month low – Economy Ministry

Japan’s industrial output fell to its lowest level in 13 months in September, with the sharpest decline seen in the automotive industry due to the global shortage of semiconductors.

The country’s overall industrial output was down 5.4% from August, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a report this week. The indicator now represents only 89.5% of its 2015 level, the report states.

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Japan’s production in the automotive industry fell last month by a hefty 28.2%, to its lowest point since April 2020, when global vehicle demand plunged due to Covid-19 quarantine restrictions. The ministry links the current decline to the global shortage of semiconductors, which has plagued producers in spheres from household electronics to automobiles for several months.

Automakers worldwide have been reporting massive drops in earnings this year, with car manufacturing in Britain sliding by 27% year-on-year in August.

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The situation in Japan is also worsened by supply chain issues with factories in Southeast Asia, driven by new outbreaks of Covid. Overall, Japan’s volume of car production has fallen for three consecutive months.

The ministry, however, predicts a recovery in industrial growth in October-November due to an improvement in the economic situation in Vietnam and Malaysia, where many of Japan’s parts factories and assembly lines are located, as the pandemic in those places subsides.

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