Friday, May 31, 2013

(BN) Japan Output Exceeds Estimates in Boost for Abe Revival Campaign

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Japan Output Exceeds Estimates in Boost for Abe Revival Campaign
2013-05-31 00:24:06.741 GMT


By Keiko Ujikane and Toru Fujioka
May 31 (Bloomberg) -- Japan's industrial production rose a
more-than-estimated 1.7 percent in April, exceeding the highest
estimate in a Bloomberg News survey, helping Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe's economic revival campaign.
The pace quickened from the previous month, when output
gained 0.9 percent, the Trade Ministry said in Tokyo today.The
median forecast of 30 analysts was for a 0.6 percent gain.
Consumer prices fell a sixth month, a separate report showed.
Stocks rebounded today after volatility that has
highlighted the importance of Abe winning public and investor
confidence in the "third arrow" of Abenomics, a growth
strategy to accompany monetary and fiscal stimulus. Gross
domestic product expanded the most in a year in the first
quarter as pledges for monetary easing weakened the yen and
boosted shares, supporting exports and consumer spending.
"Japan's economy will probably hold on to steady growth in
the coming quarters," Kohei Okazaki, an economist at Nomura
Securities Co. in Tokyo, said before the report.
The Topix index rose 1.8 percent as of 9:07 a.m. in Tokyo,
rebounding from a 3.8 percent decline yesterday. A 6.9 percent
slide on May 23 was the biggest since March 2011, when an
earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear crisis. The gauge is
up 34 percent this year.
The yen was at 101 a dollar, down 15 percent this year.
Consumer prices excluding fresh food fell 0.4 percent from
a year earlier, the statistics bureau said in Tokyo today,
matching the median estimate of 29 economists in a Bloomberg
News survey. The Bank of Japan expects price declines to
continue for "the time being," partly because of higher energy
and durable goods costs in the past, as Governor Haruhiko Kuroda
chases 2 percent inflation.
"The decline is largely affected by technical reasons from
last year -- still, it doesn't change the fact that it will be
extremely difficult for Kuroda to fulfill his pledge to hit the
target," Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase &
Co. in Tokyo and a former central bank official, said before the
release. Investors will be focused on Abe's growth measures next
month, Adachi said.

For Related News and Information:
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--Editor: Paul Panckhurst

To contact the reporters on this story:
Keiko Ujikane in Tokyo at +81-3-3201-7311 or
kujikane@bloomberg.net;
Toru Fujioka in Tokyo at +81-3-3201-2158 or
tfujioka1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Paul Panckhurst at +852-2977-6603 or
ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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