TOKYO (AFP) – Japan's industrial output fell by a sharper-than-expected 3.3 percent on-month in June, government data showed Tuesday, underscoring the challenge Tokyo faces in kickstarting the nation's economy.
The latest reading was worse than a contraction of 1.7 percent that economists had expected on average in a survey by the Nikkei business daily.
In separate figures released Tuesday, household spending last month slipped 0.4 percent from a year earlier, despite expectations of a rise as consumer prices went up for the first time in more than a year.
In one bright spot, Japan's jobless rate fell to 3.9 percent in June to the lowest point in more than four years, official data showed.
The unemployment rate fell from 4.1 percent in May to 3.9 percent, the best reading since 3.8 percent posted in October 2008, according to the internal affairs ministry.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to kickstart Japan's deflation-plagued economy, unleashing a growth-boosting effort dubbed "Abenomics", including massive government spending and central bank monetary easing.