November 19 (Bloomberg) -- Copper wire and cable shipments in Japan declined 3.9 percent in October from a year earlier, declining for the first time in 10 months as the export-led economy slowed, an industry group said.
Shipments, including exports and domestic business, dropped to 59,200 metric tons last month, from 61,614 tons a year earlier, the Japanese Electric Wire and Cable Makers’ Association said today in an e-mailed statement. Shipments totaled 60,475 tons in September.
Japan’s government maintained its assessment of the economy after cutting it in the previous month as more signs emerged that a global slowdown is damping the country’s recovery. The rebound is “pausing” and will remain weak “for a while,” the Cabinet Office said in a monthly report yesterday.
Shipments to the auto industry slumped 13.3 percent from a year earlier after a government-subsidy program -- which exempted purchases of electric, hybrid, natural gas and some diesel vehicles from taxes -- ended at the end of September, the group said.
The yen’s strength also affected exports as shipments fell 4.4 percent, the association said.
Japan’s lower house this week passed legislation to fund Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s 5.1 trillion yen ($61 billion) stimulus to protect companies from the strong yen. Even as the economy’s expansion accelerated in the third quarter, the government said deflation, stock and currency swings and more moderate growth overseas remain risks to the outlook.
Gross domestic product climbed an annualized 3.9 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30, faster than the 1.8 percent expansion in the previous quarter, boosted by last-minute purchases of cars before the stimulus program expired.