Japan's industrial output returns to growth in February
Industrial production gains 4.5% over previous month, retail sales rise 1.4%
Japan's industrial output increased by 4.5% in February compared to the previous month, according to a report on Friday.
The figure returned to growth after a slump in January partly led by the Lunar New Year holiday, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry data showed.
It was much better than the market estimate of a 2.7% growth.
On an annual basis, industrial production decreased by 0.6% in February, the fourth consecutive month of decline.
Separate data showed retail sales rose 1.4% month-on-month in February from the previous month, the fastest pace in over two years.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate increased to 2.6% in February, compared to January's 2.4%.
The number of jobless grew by 130,000 to 1.8 million, while employment fell by 300,000 to 67.1 million in February.
The jobs-to-applicant ratio edged lower to 1.34 in February from 1.35 in the prior four months, meaning 134 jobs offered for every 100 applicants.