TOKYO -- Japan's factory output rose again in March, official data showed Tuesday, the fourth consecutive monthly uptick.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry said industrial production expanded 0.2% from the previous month, while the rise was stronger on a quarterly basis with a 1.9% increase between January and March from the previous three months.

"Industrial production shows signs of picking up at a moderate pace," the ministry said .

The data also came as separate figures showed that the nation's unemployment rate was at its lowest in more than four years.

Japan's jobless rate stood at 4.1% in March, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous month, the lowest level since November 2008, the government said.

The reading was slightly better than expected in the market, with the number of unemployed people in March down to 2.8 million from a year ago, the data released by the internal affairs ministry said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013