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MNI POLICY: BOJ Sees Japan Q4 Industrial Output May Rebound

MNI (Beijing)
     TOKYO (MNI) - Bank of Japan (BOJ) officials think the country's industrial
production will rebound in the fourth quarter after natural disasters weakened
third-quarter performance.
     Production in September fell 1.1% from August, according to preliminary
data released today by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). That
is worse than a reduction of 0.3% projected by the median of a forecast by
economists surveyed by MNI.
     Output for Q3 fell 1.6% from Q2, after a gain of 1.3% in Q2 from Q1, METI'S
data show. 
     In a statement, the METI maintained its outlook from last month, saying
that "while production is picking up moderately, there are signs of weaknesses
in some areas."
     Meanwhile, the BOJ board may consider slightly weakening its assessment
that industrial production is "on an uptrend" following the weak data.
     Adjusting the upward bias in output plans, the METI forecast production may
rise at a slower pace of 0.9% on month in October. 
     If factory output rises 0.9% monthly in October, drops 0.8% in November and
remains unchanged in December, the Q4 figure will fall 0.3% following -1.6% in
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email:
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 10 8532 5998; email:

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