Japan's factory output fell 3.3 percent in June from the previous month, chiefly due to weaker production of cars and electronic parts, official data showed Tuesday. The fall followed a revised 1.9 percent expansion in May, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. It marked the sharpest month-on-month decline since March 2011, when it plunged 16.5 percent after the earthquake-tsunami disaster that hit northeastern Japan.
However, the ministry maintained its overall assessment of industrial production of the world's third-biggest economy, saying "It has shown signs of picking up at a moderate pace." Looking ahead, manufacturers polled by the ministry expect production will increase 6.5 percent in July and then fall 0.9 percent in August. Also on Tuesday, the government said Japan's jobless rate declined to 3.9 percent in June from the previous month, the lowest level since October 2008.