Kamis, 07 Mei 2009

Japan in surprise economy boost

Cranes and containers at Yokohama, Japan (30/03/2009)
Japan's exports have been hit by a collapse in demand


Production rose by 1.6% in March compared with February, after months of dramatic decline.

The larger-than-expected increase is being seen as a sign that the country's plunge in production and exports may be nearing an end.

The world's second biggest economy has been hit hard by the global downturn, sliding into a sharp recession.

These are grim times for Japan's economy but the latest figures from the government show a small improvement.

But the new figures are a sign that the strategy of Japan's manufacturers - to mothball production lines, reduce shifts and lay off staff - may be working.

With stockpiles of unsold goods diminishing some factories are starting to come back to life.

Japan has been hit badly by the downturn because worldwide demand has collapsed for its cars and electronics.

The increase follows figures earlier this month showing that exports have also risen slightly, although shipments are still running at just over half the levels of a year ago.

A government survey of manufacturers showed they expect industrial production to continue to rise, by 4.3% during April and by 6.1% in May.

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