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Japan's July factory output likely staged modest rebound: Reuters poll


By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's factory output likely staged only a modest rebound in July from the previous month's tumble, a Reuters poll showed, a sign U.S.-China trade frictions and slowing global demand will continue to weigh on the export-reliant economy.

A Reuters poll of 15 economists showed industrial output likely rose 0.3% in July from the previous month. That would follow a 3.3% drop in June, as companies feel the pinch from weakening exports mainly to Asia.

"Exports and output continue to stagnate due to the global economic slowdown. Inventory is also building up," said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.

"We're also not seeing too much pent-up demand ahead of the October sales tax hike," he said.

Separate data is expected to show retail sales likely fell 0.8% in July from a year earlier, reflecting recent weakness in household sentiment.

Japan's economy grew an annualized 1.8% in April-June, but analysts expect growth to sputter this year unless global demand rebounds quickly enough to offset an expected dip in consumption after a sales tax increase in October.

A recent Reuters survey showed Japanese manufacturers turned pessimistic about business prospects for the first time in more than six years in August as the specter of a global downturn looms large amid the bitter U.S.-China trade war.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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