The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported Friday industrial production dropped 1.7 percent from the previous year.
Another ministry said the core consumer price index slipped 0.1 percent in November, compared to the same month last year, a sign Japan is still dogged by deflation, or prices spiraling downward.
The unemployment rate improved by 0.1 percent from the previous month to 4.1 percent last month.
Hopes are high that new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies, centered on loose monetary policy and public spending will wrest the world's third largest economy out of the doldrums. Stocks are recovering and the yen has slipped, a boost for Japan.