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Japan's September factory output seen up for second straight month

Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's factory output was expected to rise for a second straight month in September helped by the auto sector, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

Industrial production was expected to have risen 1.0 percent in September from the previous month, the Reuters poll of 20 analysts found, after a 1.3 percent rose in August.

"Factory output was probably supported by auto and IT production in July-September, but it is too early to say whether industrial production has started picking up - even if the September data is good," Yoshiki Shinke, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute. "We also need to see the manufacturers' forecast for October and November."

He said an expected rise in factory output in the July-September period would be largely due to auto production recovering from April's earthquakes in southern Japan, and IT demand for smartphones. He advised caution because this type of boost may not last long.

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The poll showed retail sales fell 1.8 percent in September from a year ago following a revised 2.2 percent drop in August, suggesting consumer spending stayed weak.

The trade ministry will announce September factory output with manufacturer's forecasts and retail sales at 8:50 a.m. on Monday (2350 GMT on Sunday).

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Eric Meijer)