Figures released for the month of March saw Japan lift industrial output by 1.6 percent, sparking signs of recovery from the world's second largest economy. The increase is the first for six months. In good news for the Asian powerhouse, exports have risen since the beginning of this month although shipments are still only half what they were 12 months ago. Production fell 10.1 percent in January and 9.4 percent in February. Analysts had forecast a gain of 0.8 percent for March, so the 1.6 percent rise has doubled expectations. Japan suffered when global demand for their cars and electronics goods dropped, negatively affecting factory output. A manufacturing survey conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry shows that manufacturers expect output to rise 4.3 percent in April and 6.1 percent in May.