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Japan Factory Output has Biggest Fall on Record
Dec 29, 2008
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Industrial production in Japan fell by its biggest margin on record in November. Output at the nation's manufacturers fell 8.1% from October, and a government survey predicted further declines of 8% in December and 2.1% in January.

The drop in factory production is nearly double the previous biggest decline of 4.3% in January 2001, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The ministry said 2.56 million people were unemployed in Japan in November, an increase of 100,000 from a year earlier.

Consumers are also holding back. Retail sales fell 0.9% in November from last year, the third straight monthly decline. And average monthly household spending fell 0.5% from a year earlier, for the ninth decline in a row.

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