Marking an eighth straight monthly gain, Japan's factory output edged up by 0.5% in October from September, official data showed on Oct. 30.
The growth extended the longest unbroken expansion since a 12-month climb through March 1997 but came below an average market forecast for a rise of 2.5%.
Industrial production is expected to rise 3.3% in November and by a further 1% in December, according to the manufacturers' own forecasts, the industry ministry said.
But compared with a year earlier October industrial output was down 15.1%, reflecting a plunge in production at Japan's plants and factories since the global economic downturn began.
Shipments rose 1.3% from September, down 13% from a year earlier. Inventory stockpiles fell 1.5% on month and were down 14.4% year-on-year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009