ECONOMIC DATA ABROAD

ECONOMIC DATA ABROAD

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

FALLS 0.5 PERCENT IN JAPANProduction at Japanese mines and factories in February fell a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent from January, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry said Wednesday.

In January, industrial production rose a revised 0.1 percent.

Manufacturers' shipments dropped 0.8 percent in February following a 0.2 percent rise in January, while their inventories rose 0.3 percent after showing no changes in January.

Ministry officials said industrial production is expected to continue to grow moderately in the coming months.

JAPAN'S HOUSING STARTS

ROSE 5.6 PERCENT IN FEBRUARY

TOKYO - Japanese housing starts increased 5.6 percent in February over the previous year to 122,241 units, the construction ministry said Wednesday.

This was the sixth consecutive year-on-year monthly rise.

CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT

WIDENS IN SWEDEN

FRANKFURT, West Germany - Sweden posted a current account deficit of 2.4 billion Swedish kronor ($389 million), up from a 1.6 billion deficit in January 1989, the Swedish central bank said.

Sweden's trade surplus in January widened to 2.0 billion kronor from 1.2 billion in December and was flat from a year earlier, it said.

The country's current account deficit in the 12 months through January totaled 33 billion kronor, compared with 14.1 billion during the same period a year earlier.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

IN FRANCE IS SLOWING

PARIS - French industrial production slowed during the first months of 1990 compared with the same period in 1989, according to a monthly survey of business executives published Wednesday by France's Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies.

Demand for non-durable consumer goods and automobile goods, as well as capital goods and intermediate goods slowed, the survey showed.