Nissan Motor Company workers are seen on a production line at the company's Tochigi Plant in the town of Kaminokawacho, in Tochigi prefecture. Japan's factory output edged up by 0.5 percent in October from September, marking an eighth straight monthly gain, official data showed Monday. Source: AFP

Nissan Motor Company workers are seen on a production line at the company's Tochigi Plant in the town of Kaminokawacho, in Tochigi prefecture. Japan's factory output edged up by 0.5 percent in October from September, marking an eighth straight monthly gain, official data showed Monday. Source: AFP

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.