TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s factory output was expected to rebound in April at the fastest rate in about six years, a Reuters poll found on Friday, boosted by rising exports as global demand recovers.
The poll of 20 economists found industrial production was expected to rise 4.3 percent in April from March, which would be its strongest growth since posting a gain of 6.8 percent in May 2011.
“The data is expected to confirm production activity is improving on the back of rises in exports and an inventory adjustment coming to an end,” said Yoshiki Shinke, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.
“Monthly data has fluctuated recently, so we’d better average out figures in April-June to see the trend.”
Analysts said a pickup in auto production thanks to a recovery in car sales and rising global demand for electronic components supported Japan’s industrial production in April.
The trade ministry will release factory output data at 8:50 a.m. on Wednesday Japan time (2350 GMT on Tuesday).
Respondents expected retail sales to grow 2.3 percent in April from a year earlier, up for the sixth month in a row.
Household spending was seen slipping 0.7 percent in April, down for the 14th consecutive month, but the rate of decline would slow from the previous month when it fell an annual 1.3 percent.
“Consumers remain budget-minded but auto purchases seem to have contributed to slowing down the pace of falls in household spending,” said Hiromu Uezato, economist at Mizuho Research Institute.
The poll forecast unemployment to be steady at 2.8 percent in April, staying at its lowest level in more than two decades, while the jobs-to-applicants ratio likely improved to 1.46, which would match July 1990.
The internal affairs ministry will publish the jobs data and household spending at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, and the trade ministry will announce the retail sales figures at 8:50 a.m. the same day.
(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Eric Meijer)