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Friday 04th of February 2011
January 31, 2011    

Japanese factory output posts strong rise in December

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by Kay Murchie
”Japanese

Japan’s industrial production rose in December by 3.1% - beating expectations of a 2.9% gain.

The rise also represented the strongest in 11 months - boosted by global demand for the nation’s goods.

As a result, The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said production is now “showing signs of an upward movement” compared with its statement last month which said output remained weak.

It is forecasting output to surge by 5.7% in January but drop back in February, rising by 1.2%.

Meanwhile, for the 2010 year, output increased 15.9% on the year, against a fall of 21.9% in 2009.

The figures will be a boost to the world’s third largest economy which suffered a blow last week after its credit rating was downgraded.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) cut Japan’s credit rating from AA to AA-, the first time in nine years such measures have been taken.

The credit rating agency cited the country’s mounting debt worries for the downgrade.

Japan’s debt currently stands at almost twice the country’s annual economic output – this compares with 136.8% for Greece and 112.7%.

Japanese debt is the highest of any industrialised nation.

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