( dpa )- Japan's industrial output declined 2 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in January, compared with the previous month, the government said Thursday.
The figure, which came out weaker than an average market forecast of a 0.8-per-cent fall, was due to slow overseas demand for semiconductors and cars, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
The index of output at mines and factories stood at 109.8 against 100 for the base year of 2000.
The index of industrial shipments shrank 0.9 per cent to 115.8, following a 1.6-per-cent growth in December, and the index of industrial inventories lost for the second straight month, down 1.3 per cent to 97.7.
The ministry kept its assessment unchanged and expected the output data to fall 2.9 per cent in February but to rise 2.8 per cent in March.