UPBEAT NEWS: Japan's May industrial production rose 2 percent, the fourth straight monthly increase, while the most-watched consumer price index stopped falling for the first time in seven months. Core CPI for June in Tokyo — often used as a predictor for the nation — rose 0.2 percent.
POLICY GOALS: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to use monetary easing, public works projects and structural reforms to revive Japan's economy, which for years has been dogged by falling prices, a drag on economic growth. The Bank of Japan aims for 2 percent inflation within the next two years.
OUTLOOK CHOPPY: Despite the monthly gain, industrial production fell 1 percent compared with a year ago. Manufacturers are projecting a 2.4 percent drop in June, followed by a 3.3 percent rebound in July.