Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Monday, 28 December 2009

Japan factory output up 2.6% in November

Cargo containers at port near Tokyo
Japan's factory output is being led by increased exports

Japan's factory output rose for the ninth straight month in November, up 2.6% from October, as the manufacturing sector continued to recover.

The rise, which was higher than expected, came in response to growing overseas demand for Japanese goods.

Japan's exports to the rest of Asia totalled 2.7 trillion yen ($30bn) in November, 4.7% up on October. It was the first rise in 14 months.

But domestic demand remained weak, as consumer spending fell again.

Retail sales were 1% lower in November than a year earlier, the 15th monthly fall in a row, as consumers continued to cut spending because of job market fears.

Japan returned to economic growth in the second quarter of 2009 after spending a year in recession, but falling salaries have prompted renewed worries about deflation.

Average wages declined by 2.8% in November from a year earlier, marking their 18th consecutive monthly fall.

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