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Japan’s Industrial Output Falls for First Time in Six Months

1475454257_japan manufacturing lede
Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
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Japan’s industrial production fell for the first time in six months in January, raising questions about the sustainability of Japan’s export-driven growth in the second half of 2016. Retail sales rose.

The unexpected weakness in industrial output points to the risk of depending on external demand for recent economic growth. While domestic consumption has been weak in Japan, net exports added to growth in the second half of 2016, and shipments rose in January for a second straight month.