In a steep turnaround compared to January’s results, Japanese industrial output rose 2.00% last month, easily topping market forecasts of a 1.20% gain.
Separately, Japan's jobless rate hit a 22-year trough of 2.80% in February, a 0.20% dip from the previous month.
However, consumer inflation, excluding the effect of rising energy costs, increased a mere 0.10% from a year earlier, underscoring the challenges facing the Bank of Japan as it attempts to trigger sustain price gains.
Household spending dropped -3.80% in February from the same period a year ago, versus expectations of a -1.70% contraction. The decrease in household spending is reflective of a tightening labor market, which in turn has failed to drive wages high enough to boost domestic consumption.
USDJPY is down in early Friday trade, and was last seen around 111.800.