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Japan March industrial output up 3.6 percent month on month

A man rides a bicycle past chimneys at factories at the Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki, Japan, in this March 28, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's industrial output rose 3.6 percent in March, rebounding from a big drop logged in the prior month, government data showed on Thursday, in a tentative sign of a pick-up in factory activity.

The result compared with the median estimate of a 2.9 percent increase in a Reuters poll of economists.

It followed a revised 5.2 percent drop in February, hurt by the Lunar New Year holidays in Asia and Toyota Motor Corp's temporary halting of factory output due to an explosion at a steel plant.

Manufacturers surveyed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry expect output to rise 2.6 percent in April and decline 2.3 percent in May.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Chris Gallagher)