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[TOKYO] Japan's factory output rose in November and manufacturers expect to ramp up production in coming months, data showed on Wednesday, underscoring the central bank's view that a pick-up in global demand will underpin a steady economic recovery.
The figures reinforce a dominant market view that the Bank of Japan will hold off on expanding monetary stimulus in coming months with a recent rebound in exports seen supporting growth.
Industrial output rose 1.5 per cent in November from the previous month, preliminary government data showed, roughly matching a median market forecast for a 1.6 per cent increase. It followed a flat reading in October and a 0.6 per cent gain in September.
Manufacturers surveyed by the trade ministry expect output to increase 2 per cent in December and rise 2.2 per cent in January, a sign they are becoming more optimistic on the outlook for overseas demand.
"Industrial output is picking up," the ministry said, raising its assessment from last month when it said production was showing signs of a moderate pick-up.
Japan's economy recorded a third straight quarter of annual expansion in July-September, albeit at a modest pace as slow wage growth weighed on household spending.
But exports and factory output have recently shown signs of life on a recovery in global demand, offering some hope for policymakers struggling to pull the economy out of stagnation.
The BOJ offered an upbeat view of the economy at its rate review last week, while the government raised its assessment of the economy for the first time in nearly two years in December.