Japan factory output edges up in November


Tokyo (AFP)

Japanese factory output rose for the second straight month in November, according to official data released on Thursday, as the world's third-biggest economy continues to pick up steam.

Industrial production registered a 0.6-percent increase in November compared to the previous month, slightly better than market expectations of a 0.5-percent rise.

The rosy figures prompted the government to upgrade its view of the country's industrial strength, saying production was "picking up".

Shipments of products manufactured in Japan rose 2.4 percent on the month, while inventories dropped 1.0 percent, the industry ministry said.

The Japanese economy has enjoyed seven straight quarters of growth, albeit at a slow pace, thanks to the central bank's easy monetary policy as well as the government's generous spending programmes.

The longest positive run for 16 years comes as the nation rushes to upgrade infrastructure ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games.

But consumers have remained cautious over the outlook for the Japanese economy, and businesses have shied away from offering meaningful wage hikes and investments to bring Japan out of prolonged deflation.