Japan's jobless rate fell slightly to 4.2 percent in August, government data showed Friday, beating analyst forecasts and offering a glimmer of hope for the nation's fragile economy.
The unemployment rate for the previous month stood at 4.3 percent and economists had expected the figure to remain unchanged, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
The jobless rate for men stayed flat at 4.5 percent while that for women fell to 3.7 percent from 4.1 percent in July.
The ministry said in a separate survey that consumer prices in Japan fell for the fourth straight month in August, dropping 0.3 percent year-on-year.
The reading for the core index, which excludes volatile prices of fresh food, was slightly larger than a fall of 0.2 percent expected by economists.
Japan has been stuck in deflation for years with monetary easing and other efforts to battle a general trend of falling prices having little impact.