Japan's industrial production edged up a seasonally adjusted 1% in March from the previous month, the first rise in two months, the government said Friday. Transport equipment and communication electronics equipment industries mainly contributed to the rise, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report. The index of production at factories and mines stood at 95.3 against a baseline of 100 for 2005, the ministry said. The ministry maintained its basic assessment, saying, "Industrial production continues to show an upward movement." Manufacturers surveyed by the ministry expected production to climb 1 per cent in April and drop 4.1% in May, the ministry said. The ministry also reported the index of industrial shipments edged down 0.1% to 95.2 and that of industrial inventories was up 4.3% at 107.5. Meanwhile, the nation's core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, climbed 0.2% in March from a year earlier for the second consecutive month of increase, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. The overall CPI, including fresh food, gained 0.5%. Tokyo's core CPI for April, often viewed as a guide for future price trends, was down 0.5%, statistics showed. Slight gains in CPI are viewed as positive for Japan, which has for years struggled with deflation, or falling prices, which puts pressure on corporate earnings, wages and economic growth. Average monthly spending by Japanese households in March rose 3.4% from a year earlier to 303,841 yen (3,746 dollars), for the second consecutive month of increase, the ministry said.