Japanese industrial production tumbled in May

Clive Mason/Getty Images

For a third month in the past four, Japanese industrial production has fallen.

According to the preliminary estimate released by the government, activity contracted 2.2% in May following a 1.2% gain in April.

The decline was far greater than the median market forecast for a drop of 0.8%.

Looking ahead, manufacturers see production increasing by 1.5% in June, up from 0.5% seen in the previous estimate.

While the industrial production data missed there was some better news on retail sales. In the year to May sales rose by 3.0%, above forecasts for an increase of 2.3%. While a beat, the figure was below the 4.9% gain previously recorded in April.

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