Japan on Friday posted a surprise rise in its factory output for October, but the economy ministry warned industrial production was still on a downward trend.
Output grew 1.8 percent from the previous month, the first rise in four months, data from the ministry showed, beating an average market forecast of a 2.2 percent drop.
The positive data comes after Japan earlier this month posted its worst October trade figures in over 30 years, underscoring persistent weakness in the world's third-largest economy amid the global slowdown and a spat with China that has weighed on the neighbours' trade.
In separate data released Friday, consumer prices in Japan stayed flat year-on-year in October after falling for five straight months, according to figures from the internal affairs ministry.
The reading for the core index, which excludes volatile prices of fresh food, was in line with economists' average forecast.
Japan has been in deflation for years, putting the Bank of Japan under pressure to take bold measures to stem the trend.
The ministry also said Japan's unemployment rate stood at 4.2 percent in October, unchanged from the previous month, and in line with economists' average forecast.
Household spending in October edged down by an inflation-adjusted 0.1 percent from a year earlier, beating the average forecast of a 0.7 percent drop.