Japanese factories increased output for a third straight month in August as manufacturing recovered amid growing fears about high raw material costs and a slowdown in the global economy.
Industrial production rose by a seasonally adjusted 2.7% in August compared with the previous month.
The increase, which was well above market expectations of 0.2%, was due to stronger production in the machinery, steel and nonferrous metals sectors.
Electronic components fell by 6.3%, and automotive production contracted after rising by double digits in June and July.
The decline stood in stark contrast to a report Thursday by world-leading automaker Toyota Motor Corp. that its global auto production grew at a record pace in August, up 44.3% in the previous month from a year earlier.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) expects production to increase by 2.9% in September and by 3.2% in October.
Other data showed that retail sales rose more than expected in August, up 4.1% from the same month a year earlier.