Japan's factory output fell 1.5 percent in August from the previous month, chiefly due to weaker domestic demand, official data showed Tuesday, suggesting that the April sales tax hike still affected consumer demand.
The drop followed a revised 0.4 percent expansion in July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
Industrial output covers production of consumer goods including automobiles and computers, as well as that of production equipment such as cranes.
The ministry maintained its overall assessment of industrial production of the world's third-biggest economy, saying, "It has weakened." Looking ahead, manufacturers polled by the ministry expect production will increase 6.0 percent in September but drop 0.2 percent in October.
The government raised sales tax from five percent to eight percent in April, the first increase in 17 years.
Japan's Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted at an annualized 7.1 percent in the second quarter, the worst figure since the 2009 global financial crisis.