Japanese retail sales grew a stronger-than-expected 1.7 percent in November, rebounding after eight straight months of contractions.

The figures, released Wednesday by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, are the latest piece of evidence that Japan’s economy is starting to recover. Also on Wednesday, the ministry said the Japan’s industrial output rose 1.5 percent in November from the month before.

Last week, the Bank of Japan said the country’s export-driven economy is recovering and likely to return to a “moderate expansion” phase.

“Domestic demand is likely to follow an uptrend, with a virtuous cycle from income to spending being maintained in both the corporate and household sectors, on the back of highly accommodative financial conditions and fiscal spending through the government’s large-scale stimulus measures,” the bank said. “Exports are expected to follow a moderate increasing trend on the back of an improvement in overseas economies.”

As reported, retailers in Japan like Fast Retailing and Isetan Mitsukoshi saw mixed comps in November, as cold weather buoyed sales of winter items.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed the day flat at 21,755 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.8 percent at 21,755 and Shanghai’s SSE fell 0.4 percent to finish at 3,102.

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