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Japan factory output drops in February

Workers assemble a truck on production line of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) Kawasaki plant, on March 10, 2015Japanese factory output fell by a worse-than-expected 3.4 percent in February, data showed on Monday, adding to the gloom enveloping the world’s third largest economy as it struggles to overcome last year’s sales tax rise. The data come days after separate figures showed inflation stalled last month with a key measure of prices flat for the first time in nearly two years — dealing another blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to conquer deflation and revive the sluggish economy. “Today’s figures confirm that the economy slowed in the first quarter of 2015,” Marcel Thieliant from Capital Economics said in a note after the industrial production data were published. Commenting on the factory output data, Japan’s industry ministry left its tepid view unchanged.

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