TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese industrial production fell 1.4 percent in December from November, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry announced Friday.

The decline, measured after adjustment for seasonal factors, was in line with forecasts by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

Looking ahead, MITI said it expects output to rise 3.6 percent in January from December and then increase 0.6 percent in February.

Japan is struggling to emerge from its worst economic downturn in 50 years.