Japan's factory output declined in November, weighed down by a drop in auto production and clouding the outlook for the export-reliant economy.

Industrial production fell 0.9% in November from the previous month, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) showed on Thursday. The reading was better than the median market forecast for a 1.6% drop.

Motor vehicle production, which has underpinned industrial output, fell 2.5% in November from the prior month due to slowdowns in the manufacturing of small cars and engines, a METI official said.