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Tuesday, 30th March 2010
In Business In Japan,

Japanese output down for first time in 12 months

Industrial production levels in Japan have fallen for the first time in a year, new figures have shown.

In February, output in Japan fell by 0.9 per cent from January, following an 11-month stretch of rises, which has been put down to lack of confidence among Japanese business leaders who have taken steps to lower production levels recently.

As well as a fall in industrial production, government figures showed that the number of people unemployed in Japan rose by 8.4 per cent to 3.24 million, when figures are compared with the same month a year earlier.

In a message to clients cited by the Associated Press, Goldman Sachs economist Chiwoong Lee said: "The pace of improvement in overseas demand may not be sustainable and we note that firms are cautious in their behaviour. These are not fertile conditions for a strong labour market revival."

Japan recently suffered its deepest recession since the end of the second world war, with many of its major markets - such as electrical and cars - hit hard by anaemic global demand.

Written by Kimberley Homer.