TOKYO: Japan's factory output edged up by 0.5 percent in October from September, marking an eighth straight monthly gain, official data showed Monday.
The growth extended the longest unbroken expansion since a 12-month climb through March 1997 but came below an average market forecast for a rise of 2.5 percent.
Industrial production is expected to rise 3.3 percent in November and by a further 1.0 percent in December, according to the manufacturers' own forecasts, the industry ministry said.
But compared with a year earlier October industrial output was down 15.1 percent, reflecting a plunge in production at Japan's plants and factories since the global economic downturn began.
Shipments rose 1.3 percent from September, down 13.0 percent from a year earlier. Inventory stockpiles fell 1.5 percent on month and were down 14.4 percent year-on-year.