Japanese industrial output rose substantially last month, offering more evidence that the world's second-largest economy is still improving despite the strong yen. Industrial production was up 3.8 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, even though retail sales fell 2.8 percent, according to preliminary data released by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Economists said the yen's appreciation against the dollar since summer has not taken a toll on production and the overall economy because major firms have reduced costs by restructuring, enabling them to respond more calmly than in the past to the yen's rise in value.
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