(MENAFN) Japanese government said February industrial output declined by 1.2 percent, reflecting the fragility of its economic recovery as growth throughout Asia slows, AP reported.
The decline was lead by lagging output in the transport equipment, electronics components and machinery industries. Production of cell phones, large passenger cars and liquid crystal devices also weakened, the government said.
Japan's industry was hit hard by the devastating tsunami in March last year, and a shift of manufacturing overseas to cut costs and reduce damage caused by the strong yen, lead Japan's trade account into the red last year for the first time since 1980.
Also, slowing growth in the Chinese economy, the debt crisis in Europe and continued frailty in the US economy have further trimmed demand for exports, which remains the strongest driver of growth for Japan.
On the other hand, the government made predicted a 2.6 percent growth in output in March and 0.7 percent in April, as growth accelerates due to a recovery in rebuilding of northeastern regions devastated by last year's disasters.
Japan's economy shrank at an annual pace of 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter, also hit by slowing public investment due to political bickering that delayed parliamentary approval for a UAD156 billion extra budget for tsunami reconstruction.
The economy shrank 0.9 percent last year from 4.4 percent growth in 2010. In 2009, the economy shrank 5.5 percent.