Japan manufacturing output up in January from month before

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Japan reports its industrial production rose in January from the month before, beating forecasts, though growth remained relatively weak and output was lower than a year earlier.

Data released Monday showed the manufacturing index for the world's third-largest economy was at 99.8 compared with a base of 100 in 2010.

January's increase was a turnaround from month-on-month declines in November and December. But output was down 3.8 percent from January 2015, and is forecast to fall by 5.2 month-on-month percent in February, partly due to weak demand as the world economy slows.

Japan's central bank recently began a negative interest rate policy aimed at getting banks to lend more to help spur business activity and fend off deflation. Japan's inflation rate was flat in January, according to data reported earlier.