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Japan's industrial production slumped in March

April 28/2011

(ICIS) -- Japan's industrial production slumped in March, shrinking a record 15.3% from February, indicating a severe economic damage wrought by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern part of the country last month, official data showed on Thursday.

Compared with the same period last year, March production fell 12.9%. Transport equipment, general machinery and chemicals productions were among the worst hit, according to preliminary data from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

Japanese industries are grappling with rolling blackouts that prevent normal operations, including those of the petrochemical sector, following the 11 March disasters.

But METI expects an improvement in production in April and May, with the growth forecast for each month at 3.9% and 2.7%, respectively.

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