Japan's industrial output unexpectedly fell 0.5 percent in August, down for the second straight month, government data showed on Wednesday, underscoring concerns about tepid factory activity.
The month-on-month fall compared with economists' median forecast for a 1.0 percent increase in a Reuters poll.
Manufacturers surveyed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry expect output to rise 0.1 percent in September and grow 4.4 percent in October, data showed.
Meanwhile, data released by the ministry at the same time showed retail sales rose 0.8 percent in August from a year earlier, compared with economists' median estimate for a 1.1 percent annual increase.
Speaking in New York overnight, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that more effort was needed to pull the world's third-biggest economy out of deflation.