Japan industrial production declined -0.1% mom in December, much better than expectation of -0.8% mom. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry retained the assessment from the previous month that industrial production is “weakening.” 10 of the 15 industries surveyed, reported decline in output, four reported increase, and one remained unchanged.
Based on a poll of manufacturers, the ministry expects output to remain flat in January, and then grow 4.1% in February. A ministry official said, “we still need to keep a close eye on the influence of a potential spread in coronavirus infections, material shortages and high prices.”
Also released, retail sales rose 3.8% yoy in December, above expectation of 3.1% yoy. Unemployment rate was unchanged at 2.5%. housing starts dropped -1.7% yoy. COnsumer confidence rose from 30.3 to 31.0 in January.