Industrial production in Japan increased for the first time in four months in February. The figure was up 1.4 percent from the month before.
Production of automobiles, car engines and chip-making equipment bound for overseas markets bounced back from a slump caused by China's slowdown.
But government officials say that output has not recovered to the level seen before January when slowing exports caused a big dip.
Looking ahead, they forecast a 1.3-percent increase for March and a 1.1-percent gain for April.
But they maintained their basic assessment that industrial output is at a standstill.