What Reflation? Despite Massive Money Printing, Japan’s Industrial Production Still Below 2008 Levels

By Tyler Durden

Authored by Jeffrey Snider via Alhambra Investment Partners,

Japanese industrial production dropped sharply in January 2018, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry reported last month. Seasonally-adjusted, the IP index fell 6.8% month-over-month from December 2017. Since the country has very little mining sector to speak of, and Japan’s IP doesn’t include utility output, this was entirely manufacturing in nature (99.79% of the IP index is derived from the manufacturing sector).

Various reasons were given for the decline, as they always are, but more importantly it placed a great deal of importance on the February estimate. Was January a one-time aberration, or is there a looming break in trend?

The Ministry released estimates late last week that suggest the break might be more than a one-month transitory anomaly. Industrial Production rebounded in February, but only by 4.1%. That left the year-over-year change (not seasonally-adjusted) as +1.4%. It’s the lowest gain since October 2016, down substantially from what increasingly looks like a mid-2017 peak (+6.5%).

Like so many other economic accounts around the world, Japan’s IP statistic is often misunderstood or disingenuously deployed to sound off on the prospects of a turning point for Japan’s economy.

It was that way at the beginning of Abenomics …read more

Source:: ZeroHedge