June 29, 2022

The Japanese government reported the country’s industrial output to rise 7.2 percent in November, the largest-ever compared to the previous month. The growth has been attributed to the recovery in car production that was under slump caused by a global semiconductor shortage and supply chain disruptions.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, in the reporting month, the seasonally adjusted index of production at mines and factories stood at 97.7 percent, thus showing an upwardly revised 1.8 percent growth from the previous month.

Industrial output data –

• Production in the auto industry rose 43.1 percent in November, marking the biggest expansion compared to the previous month.
• In November, due to increasing demand for those used for automobiles, the output of plastic products rose 9.5 percent.
• The index of industrial shipments rose 7.4 percent to 95.3in the reporting month, while that of inventories was up 1.7 percent at 100.4.

Car output was hit hard by a worldwide chip shortage and a disruption in the supply of parts until September from Southeast Asian nations over restrictions on economic activities caused by the spread of coronavirus infections.

According to a ministry official, the impact of the part supply shortages began to ease in October, and was further softened in November.

The ministry based on a poll of manufacturers in the upcoming months expects output to keep expanding, up 1.6 percent in December and 5.0 percent in January.

However, in the meantime, the ministry official also put a caution of possible downside risks for the December’s industrial output projection. It cited that some domestic automakers due to supply issues in Southeast Asia are planning production adjustments for the month.

In other news, the country’s unemployment rate also edged up in November up to 2.8 percent from the previous month. It has been attributed to an economic recovery from the coronavirus fallout, which prompted more people to leave their jobs in search of better ones.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate in Novemeber rose 0.1 percentage point, up from the previous month, after the COVID-19 state-of-emergency measure was lifted in October.