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Fresh data from Japan show that the country's economy continues to struggle. The Ministry of Economics, Trade, and Industry released its preliminary figures for November industrial production, which indicate that the metric declined by 1.7% on a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis and by 5.8% from November 2011. The ministry's data also indicated a slowdown in shipments, which fell 1.1% from October, and a drop in inventories (down 1.2% over the same time frame).
Meanwhile, consumer prices showed a slight decline. The country's Statistics Bureau released data showing that core CPI in November dropped by 0.4% from the previous month and 0.1% on a year-over-year basis. The most significant declines were recorded in the culture and recreations and transportation/communication segments. The only category showing an increase was clothing and footwear.