Industrial output in Japan rose in March for the first time in six months, according to government figures.Now industrial production for March registered a 1.6% rise. So I guess my question is, if industrial production ended up in a 0.9% rise—the average of private sector forecasts—would that have meant that Japan’s “plunge in production and exports” would have no chance of “nearing an end”? Or would the same sentence have read:
The larger-than-expected increase is seen as a sign the country's plunge in production and exports may be nearing an end.
The expected increase is seen as a sign the country's plunge in production and exports may be nearing an end.I would not be carping if the reports had not used the words “surprise” and “may”.
Actually, if the BBC reporter had talked to real human beings (or read Japanese newspapers), they would have known that Japanese manufacturers would be coming out of the precipitous inventory adjustment downswing sometime during the spring anyway. So the issue is not the March uptick, much less its size, but whether an upward trajectory can be sustained.