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MNI (London)
     TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's industrial production for November posted the first
month-on-month drop in two months, but Bank of Japan officials maintain the view
that production is returning to a moderate recovery path.
     November's drop is somewhat reaction to the strong October data, which rose
2.9% m/m, but BOJ officials are focussed on how Japan's production has been
affected by slowing overseas demand in the fourth quarter.
     Production in November fell 1.1% from October, according to preliminary
data released Friday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
However, November's 1.1% was a better than the MNI median forecast of -1.9%
     The increase of production machinery and chemicals excluding medicines was
offset by falls in general-purpose and business oriented machinery.
     In a statement, METI maintained its outlook from last month, saying that
"production is picking up moderately."
     Based on METI's forecast factory output is seen rising 2.2% on month in
December and then fall 0.8% in January. Adjusting the upward bias in output
plans, METI forecast production would drop 0.7% on month in December.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email:
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