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--Japan Aug Industrial Output +0.7% M/M; MNI Median +1.5%
--Japan METI Forecast Index: Sep Output +2.7% M/M, Oct +1.7%
--METI Repeats: Output Picking Up Moderately With Soft Spots
--METI: Sep Output Fcast Adjusted For Upward Bias +0.2%
     TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's industrial production rebounded modestly in August,
posting the first month-on-month rise, but higher output of passenger cars and
chip-making equipment was partly offset by a decline in output of electronic
parts and devices, amid concerns about the drag from the escalating U.S.-China
trade row, preliminary data released Friday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade
and Industry showed.
     The key points from the latest data:
     * Industrial production rose 0.7% on month in August, coming in weaker than
the MNI median economist forecast for +1.5% and following three months of drops
(-0.2% in July, -1.8% in June and -0.2% in May).
     * Factory operations appeared to have returned to normal after heavy rains
hit southwestern Japan in July, causing a parts supply shortage and a
distribution network breakdown and leading to a decline in transport equipment
and production machinery.
     * Based on its survey of manufacturers, METI projected that industrial
production would rise 2.7% on month in September (revised up from +0.5% forecast
last month) and gain a further 1.7% in October. Adjusting the upward bias in
output plans, METI forecast production would rise at a slower pace of 0.2% on
month in September.
     * If factory output rises 0.2% in September, as forecast, it would slump
1.0% on quarter in July-September, the first q/q drop in two quarters after
+1.3% in Q2 and -1.3% in Q1.
     * METI maintained its assessment after downgrading it for the first time in
six months last month, saying, "While production is picking up moderately, there
are signs of weakness in some areas."
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-4670-5309; email: max.sato@marketnews.com