Japan's industrial production dropped 3.1% in May, up from a 0.2% decrease, data released on Friday showed. The decrease was worse than a 2.8% fall expected by economists.
Compared to a year earlier, when Japan was still reeling under the twin disasters, industrial output was up 6.2%.
Car production led the drop in May, the Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry said, while non-pharmaceutical chemicals also led to the fall.
On the brighter side, a survey showed that manufacturers now expect a 2.7% gain in June output, up from a forecast rise of 2.4% in last month's survey.
Separately, Japanese data on May unemployment and household spending turned out to be encouraging, though the world's third-largest economy remained in deflation.
The May jobless rate fell to 4.4% from 4.6% in April, the Finance Ministry reported. Economists had forecast a reading of 4.5%.
Spending by Japanese households of two or more people rose at a price-adjusted rate of 4.0% from a year earlier, beating a projection of 2.3% gain and improving from a 2.6% rise in April.
The consumer price index (CPI), meanwhile, fell by 0.1% year-on-year, in line with the forecast.
Core CPI, which excludes volatile fresh-food prices, rose by 0.2% in April from a year earlier. On a month-on-month basis, the core CPI fell 0.2%.