SHANGHAI, Dec 1 - Japan's industrial output rose for the first time in four months in October as the reopening of Asian factories eased supply constraints for carmakers, bringing some hope to an economy that is highly dependent on exports as the country struggles to achieve a steady economic recovery, according to foreign media reports.
It should be noted, however, that industrial output rose less than expected in October, meaning that the impact of global supply chain disruptions remains, but many analysts are seeing signs of improvement. Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute, said, "Weak output from automakers has weighed on overall industrial production in Japan over the past three months, but the situation is now easing."
According to data previously released by the Japanese government, the country's factory output rose 1.1 percentage point in October from a year earlier, achieving the first year-on-year increase since June this year. An official from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said at a briefing that Japanese car production rose 15 percentage point in October from a year earlier, the first increase in four months, as the impact of shortages of components in Asia is waning. The increase in output by carmakers offset a contraction in production in sectors such as chemicals, steel and electronic components and equipment.
A government official said the automakers’ plan reflected that the impact of chip and component shortages was easing, but warned that risks remained in companies' supply chains, including those associated with COVID variant Omicron.
Minami said, "In the summer of 2020, automakers' production rebounded quickly after a decline, contributing to the growth in overall industrial output. If this plays out again, then the volume of industrial output in Japan could see an upward trend with next year's complementary production programme."