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Japan's industrial production slips

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TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Japanese industrial production fell for the fifth straight month in February, but the Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry is predicting a bit of a turnaround in March and April.


Industrial production tumbled 9.4 percent from January and a staggering 38.4 percent from year-ago levels, the ministry said. The hardest-hit industries were transport equipment, general machinery and electrical machinery.

Better days could come next month, with industrial production expected to increase 2.9 percent in March and 3.1 percent in April, according to the ministry's Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing.

CNN's Chie Kobayashi contributed to this report.

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