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Japan factory output, retail sales flat in September

Monday, October 31, 2016 - 11:26

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Japan's factory output and retail sales were flat last month, data showed Monday, painting a bleak picture for the world's number three economy as the central bank kicks off a policy meeting.

[TOKYO] Japan's factory output and retail sales were flat last month, data showed Monday, painting a bleak picture for the world's number three economy as the central bank kicks off a policy meeting.

The lukewarm readings come on the heels of disappointing inflation figures last week and point to a tepid expansion in July-September economic growth, analysts said.

Japan's third-quarter growth figures are due later this month.

The government data on Monday showed Japan's industrial output for September was unchanged from the previous month, weighed by slower production of certain electronic components, according to the ministry of economy, trade and industry.

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That was well short of a market forecast for a 0.9 per cent rise after an on-month expansion in August.

Retail sales were also unchanged, missing forecasts of a 0.2 per cent rise.

The Bank of Japan kicked off a two-day meeting with a policy announcement expected on Tuesday.

The BOJ has repeatedly pledged to continue monetary easing as needed until inflation reaches a two per cent target, a cornerstone of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic revival policy.

More than three years on, however, doubts are growing over Mr Abe's faltering bid to kickstart growth and conquer a long battle against deflation.

Japan's economy contracted in the last three months of 2015, before bouncing back in January-March with a 0.5 per cent rise on-quarter and then a 0.2 per cent expansion in April-June.

AFP

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