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Japan’s April factory output slumps in worrying sign for economy

A worker cycles near a factory at the Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki, Japan February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

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  • April output falls 1.3% m/m, much weaker than expected
  • Manufacturers see output up in May, June
  • Retail sales rise more than expected in April

TOKYO, May 31 (Reuters) – Japan’s factories posted a sharp fall in output in April as China’s COVID-19 lockdowns and wider supply disruptions took a heavy toll on manufacturers, clouding the outlook for the trade-reliant economy.

Separate data showed retail sales posted the largest rise in nearly a year as consumers stepped up spending after the government eased pandemic curbs, withstanding pressure from wider price rises that threaten to hurt demand.

Factory output dropped 1.3% in April from the previous month, official data showed on Tuesday, on sharp falls in the production of items such as electronic parts and…

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