Industrial production in Japan rose for a second consecutive month in October, fanning hopes of a gradual recovery in the country’s manufacturing sector.
Industrial production rose 0.1% from September, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report on Wednesday. A median estimate of economists forecast a decline of 0.1%.
Compared to the same period a year ago, output fell 1.3%, official data showed.
Shipments rose 2.2% from the previous month, but were down 1.8% year-over-year.
Industrial production was revised sharply higher in September to reflect 0.6% growth. The preliminary estimate just two weeks prior showed no change in the headline reading. The sharp revision reflects the volatile nature of the monthly data series.
Japan’s manufacturing sector has returned to growth after a prolonged contraction earlier this year that was made worse by devastating earthquakes in the southern part of the country. The IHS Markit/Nikkei manufacturing PMI rose above 50 in September and has remained above that key market ever since. A PMI figure above 50 signifies expansion in economic activity.
The Japanese economy as a whole expanded 0.5% in the third quarter and 2.2% over year ago levels. The increase was propelled by faster exports.