TOKYO — Japan's top three automakers report double-digit production jumps in June. The rebounding output is a sign of continued strength in the U.S. markets, as well as a recovery on the home front.

Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. all reported production increases of 14% to 15%. Overall production rose 4.8% in the first six months to 5.2 million vehicles.

The rise marks a significant increase over the first six months of 1999, when production fell 3.3% year-on-year to 4.93 million vehicles.

Japan's exports are up as well, fueled by the U.S. market, plus a rebound in other Asian nations. Automotive exports in June jumped 13.6% to 400,975 units, marking the third consecutive month rise in exports.

Exports in the first six months rose to 2,221,012 vehicles, up 2.8%, reports the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Assn. (JAMA).

The first half saw automotive exports to other Asian nations reach 196,935 vehicles, up 49% from the same period of the previous year, and 851,910 vehicles shipped to the U.S., up 15% year-on-year.

JAMA reports that exports to the European Union fell by 17% year-on-year, to 506,099 units, marking the first fall in five years.