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Japan revises down November factory output

Japan's factory output in November was weaker than first reported with industrial production turning down 0.1 per cent, according to revised data Monday, in the latest sign of slowing growth.

TOKYO: Japan's factory output in November was weaker than first reported with industrial production turning down 0.1 per cent, according to revised data Monday, in the latest sign of slowing growth.

The reading, which came after preliminary data had shown a 0.1 per cent rise in output on-month, also marked the first contraction in three months.

However, figures last week showed November machinery orders, a key measure of capital spending, jumped 9.3 per cent from October to a five-year high, suggesting a pick-up in corporate investment.

The figures are a key yardstick for the success of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policy blitz, dubbed "Abenomics", aimed at stoking growth in Japan's long-lumbering economy.

Despite Abe's much-lauded start since sweeping national elections just over a year ago, analysts have been warning that Tokyo's bold pro-growth programme -- a mix of big government spending and central bank monetary easing is not enough on its own without promised economic reforms.

Bank of Japan (BoJ) policymakers will be poring over the latest figures as they hold a two-day meeting that ends Wednesday, with December trade and inflation figures due earlier that day.

The BoJ is expected to hold steady on new monetary easing measures until it can gauge the effect of an April sales tax rise, which critics have warned could derail a recovery in the world's third-largest economy.

Japan's economic growth slowed to 0.3 per cent in the third-quarter of 2013, well down from 0.9 per cent growth in the previous three months.

Japan’s economy had been outpacing other G7 nations in the first half of the year, as Abe's policy drive helped push down the yen, giving a boost to exporters and sparking a stock market rally.

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