November 22, 2018 / 7:58 AM / a month ago

Japan factory output, retail sales seen improving in October: Reuters poll

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s industrial output likely rebounded in October after the previous month’s drop due to natural disasters, a Reuters poll showed, which would give encouragement that the economy could show growth this quarter.

FILE PHOTO: Workers ride bicycles as a guard looks on at a factory in Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo August 31, 2010. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

Retail sales probably grew at faster annual pace than in September, reflecting a tight labor market and gradual wage growth, it showed.

A data batch due next week is likely to suggest Japan’s third-quarter economic contraction was a temporary slump caused by natural disasters. But slowing global demand and the intensifying U.S.-China trade war cloud the outlook for export-reliant Japan.

Industrial output was seen rising 1.2 percent in October from the previous month, the poll of 17 economists showed. The September figure has been revised to a 0.4 percent decline from the 1.1 percent fall initially reported.

The trade ministry will issue the factory output data on Nov. 30 at 8:50 a.m. Japan time (2350 GMT Nov. 29).

“Output slumped in September at broad sectors including autos due to supply constraints caused by natural disasters, but it will stage a recovery in October-December,” said Koya Miyamae, senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

Japan’s economy, the world’s third largest, shrank more than expected in the third quarter, hit by natural disasters and sluggish exports.

Retail sales, a key data for gauging strength of private consumption, which accounts for roughly 60 percent of the economy, are projected to rise 2.6 percent in October from a year earlier, accelerating from September’s revised 2.2 percent annual increase, the poll found.

The trade ministry will release the retail sales data on Nov. 29 at 8:50 a.m. Japan time (2350 GMT, Nov. 28).

According to the poll, Japan’s jobless rate likely remained at 2.3 percent in October, and the jobs-to-applicants ratio inched up to 1.65 jobs from 1.64 in September.

The core consumer prices index (CPI) for the Tokyo area in November, available a month ahead of the nationwide figure, was seen rising 1.0 percent from a year earlier, unchanged from October, the poll showed.

Both Tokyo-area inflation and job data will be released on Nov. 30 at 8:30 a.m. Japan time (2330 GMT, Nov. 29), by the internal affairs ministry.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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