TOKYO Jan 31 Japan's industrial output rose 1.1
percent in December, suggesting that robust domestic demand is
underpinning the economy as consumers rush to beat a national
sales tax hike in April.
The rise roughly matched a median market forecast of a 1.2
percent increase and followed a 0.1 percent drop in November.
Manufacturers surveyed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and
Industry expect output to rise 6.1 percent in January and
increase 0.3 percent in February, data showed on Friday.
For more background, see PREVIEW