TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s March factory output is forecast to have slipped for the first time in two months, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, though the central bank is expected to stand pat on policy as it bets on a gradual economic recovery despite rising risks to growth.
The poll of 17 economists predicted the Bank of Japan will retain its massive stimulus as well as the short-term interest rate target at minus 0.1 percent, while also maintaining its pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around zero percent at its April 24-25 meeting.
BOJ - Task - Efforts - Inflation - Percent
The BOJ is facing a daunting task in its years-long efforts to help push up inflation toward its 2 percent goal, with a slowdown in global growth and trade making its task even more difficult.
Factories have been under strain in the past few months, and the poll forecast industrial production to have slipped 0.1 percent in March from the previous month after it rose 0.7 percent in February.
Exports - Slowdown - Factory - Output - Yoshiki
“Exports are weakening due to the global economic slowdown, which appears to have impacted on factory output,” said Yoshiki Shinke, chief economist at Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute.
“The economy is either at a temporarily lull or worsening slightly. But it requires more data to assess whether the economy contracted in the first quarter.”
Trade - Ministry - Factory - Output - April
The trade ministry will publish the factory output at 8:50 a.m. April 26, Japan time (2350 GMT April 25).
Data on the nation’s retail sector, due at the same time with the factory output numbers, is projected to show sales rising 0.8 percent last month from a year earlier,...
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