Industrial output in Japan gained 1.2 percent on month in March, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Friday.
That topped forecasts for an increase of 0.5 percent following the 2.0 percent gain in February.
On a yearly basis, industrial production jumped 2.2 percent – exceeding forecasts for 2.0 percent and up from 1.6 percent in the previous month.
Upon the release of the data, the METI maintained its assessment of industrial production, saying that it is picking up slowly.
Also on Friday:
• Retail sales in Japan were down a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on month in March, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
That was shy of forecasts for a flat reading following the 0.5 percent increase in February.
On a yearly basis, retail sales gained 1.0 percent – also missing forecasts for 1.5 percent and down from 1.7 percent in the previous month.
Large retailer sales added 0.1 percent on year, missing expectations for 0.8 percent and down from 0.6 percent a month earlier.
• The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in March, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said – in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month.
The job-to-applicant ratio was 1.59 – also matching forecasts and up from 1.58 in February. The participation rate was 61.2 percent.
The number of employed persons in March was 66.20 million, an increase of 1.87 million or 2.9 percent on year.
• Consumer prices in Tokyo were up 0.5 percent on year in April, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. That was well shy of forecasts for 0.8 percent and down from 1.0 percent in March.
Core CPI, which excludes volatile food prices, was up an annual 0.6 percent. That also missed forecasts for 0.8 percent, which would have been unchanged.
On a monthly basis, overall Tokyo CPI fell 0.4 percent and core inflation eased 0.1 percent.