Manufacturing drop shows weakness in Japan economy
TOKYO (AP) - Japan's industrial output fell in June for the first time in five months, the government said on Tuesday as it released data highlighting the fragility of the recovery in the world's No. 3 economy.
Manufacturing slipped 3.3 percent from the month before in June and was 4.8 percent lower than a year before, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
However, other data showed the jobless rate edging to 3.9 percent, its lowest level since October 2008, when the economy was slammed by the global financial crisis. The jobless rate had remained at 4.1 percent during the previous few months.
The most recent data have officials questioning whether the government should go ahead with a promised sales tax increase that economists say could derail progress in restoring growth and breaking free of deflation.