Japan's industrial production and retail sales figures exceeded expectations in October, signalling a tentative recovery in demand as businesses and consumers continue to adjust to the April sales-tax hike.
Industrial production rose 0.2 percent on month in October, above expectations for a 0.6 percent decline in a Reuters poll but down from September's 2.7 percent increase. Meanwhile, retail sales rose 1.4 percent on year, above expectations for a 1.2 percent rise but slower than September's 2.3 percent increase.
In April, the government raised the consumption tax to 8 percent from 5 percent to rein in the country's budget-to-GDP ratio. It was the first tax hike in 17 years.