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Japan's manufacturing production continues to drop [ClearOnMoney]
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Japan's manufacturing production continues to drop

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Commentary

Japan's manufacturing production continues to drop

2 Oct 2012 by Jim Fickett.

Last week Japan' Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported industrial production through August.

The large drop in the last few months is certainly very bad news for Japan. But it should not necessarily be read as such bad news for the world economy, because it is in part due to off-shoring. For example, from Bloomberg Businessweek:

Japan's Hottest New Export Market: Japan

At the Shibaura Chuo auto showroom in Tokyo, the Nissan March subcompact has all the signs of Japanese quality—it’s fuel-efficient, sturdy, and handles well. Except the March is made in Thailand, not Japan. …

According to government data, shipments home from overseas plants have more than doubled in a decade to a record ¥8.4 trillion ($107.4 billion) in 2011, including a 31 percent jump in the past two years. …

After a 45 percent gain in the yen against the dollar in the past five years, businesses have accelerated the move abroad to countries that offer skilled workforces and lower costs. These offshore factories have profit margins on average 2.5 to 3 times higher than domestic operations, says Jesper Koll, head of equity research at JPMorgan Securities (JPM) in Tokyo. The latest shift of manufacturing, due to the yen’s surge, will contribute to a loss of 4 million manufacturing and construction jobs in Japan this decade, according to the Tokyo-based Works Institute, a research arm of staffing agency Recruit.