TOKYO, Japan - Japan's industrial output rose a smaller-than-expected 2.4 per cent in January from the previous month, official data showed Monday.
It was the third successive monthly rise but was smaller than the market average forecast of a 3.8 per cent rise in a survey conducted by the Nikkei business daily.
The growth, supported by production of cars and semiconductor-manufacturing devices, slowed from a surprise jump of 3.3 per cent in December.
Most economists expect Japan's economy to expand again in the current January-March period after gross domestic production contracted by an annualised 1.1 per cent in the previous quarter.
But the weaker-than-expected industrial production may add to concerns over the export-driven economy after data last week showed January overseas shipments slowed, pushing the trade balance into a deficit for the first time in nearly two years.