Japanese manufacturers increased production for a sixth month in August, capping the longest stretch of gains in 12 years, as emergency spending by governments worldwide rekindled global trade.
Factory output rose 1.8 percent last month after climbing 2.1 percent in July, the Trade Ministry said today in Tokyo. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a 1.8 percent gain.
Output has rebounded since a record collapse in the first quarter of the year left half the nation’s factory capacity sitting idle. The gains in production since March have yet to generate employment, trigger capital investment or return companies like Toyota Motor Corp. to profit.
“We’re not going to fall back into recession, but these production increases don’t bring us back to where we started,” said Yoshiki Shinke, senior economist at Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute in Tokyo. “You’ve still got a lot of excess capacity.”
The good... industrial production is up 21% from its lows. The bad... it is still 24% below its peak.