Japan's factory production in February fell by a worse-than-expected 3.4 percent month-on-month, turning down from a solid rise in January, according to official data released on Monday.
The latest figures from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry missed economists' median forecast of a drop of less than two percent and reversed a revised 3.7 percent rise seen in January.
But the ministry left unchanged its verdict on the broader trend in factory production.
"Industrial production shows signs of increase at a moderate pace," it said in the February report, using the same phrase for January.
The ministry also said a survey of manufacturing companies' output projections suggested their production would fall by a further 2.0 percent in March before rising 3.6 percent in April.