Japan's factory output rose 0.2 percent in ×July from the previous month for the first increase in two months, a government data showed Friday.
The rebound followed a sharp fall of 3.4 percent in June, which marked the steepest decline since the earthquake-tsunami disaster in March 2011, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
The weak data suggesting that the April sales tax hike affected consumer demand.
The government raised sales tax from 5 percent to 8 percent on April 1, the first increase in 17 years.
Output for general machinery makers grew 6.3 percent, but production for transport equipment makers fell 2.5 percent.
The ministry maintained its overall assessment of industrial production of the world's third-biggest economy, saying, "It has weakened." Looking ahead, manufacturers polled by the ministry expect production will increase 1.3 percent in August and further rise 3.5 percent in September.
"The Japanese economy is on a steady recovery path and the factory output is expected to jump in August and September, It is not necessary to be pessimistic," Economy and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari told a press conference.