(AP) Japan says that manufacturing slowed in August, but the overall trend remains positive.
Industrial output fell 0.7 percent from the previous month, after a 3.4 percent jump in July.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that manufacturing "shows signs of picking up at a moderate pace." It forecast a rise in production in September and October.
The improvement in manufacturing since late last year will lend support to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to raise the consumption tax next year. The Cabinet is expected to approve the proposal Tuesday.