Japanese factory output falls
Japan's factory output fell 3.3% from May to June, the latest sign to
highlight that the recent sales tax rise is affecting consumer demand.
It is the biggest decline in output since the 2011 earthquake and
Japan raised its sales tax, also known as consumption tax, from 5% to
8% in April this year.
There have been concerns that the move - which makes goods more
expensive - may see consumers cut back on spending and hurt domestic
The weak output numbers follow data released on Tuesday which showed
retail sales in June declined more than forecast, down 0.6% from a year
Meanwhile, household spending in the country has also fallen in
recent months. Analysts said the weak demand was in part due to the fact
that consumers and businesses had rushed to make purchases ahead of the
"The pent-up demand ahead of the sales tax hike was bigger than
expected so the consequent downturn is pretty steep, which is probably
why output fell so much in June," said chief Japan economist at RBS
Securities, Junko Nishioka.