Industrial output in Japan unexpectedly dropped in July as a slowdown in global demand hurt exports.
Trade ministry figures showed output was down 1.2% in July, a steep reversal from a rise of 0.4% in June.
Overall Japanese exports fell the most in six months in July, data from the finance ministry showed last week.
The BBC reports analysts are predicting further declines as government subsidies for the purchase of fuel-efficient cars come to an end.
Earlier this week the government downgraded an assessment for the economy.