Japan’s core machinery orders rise 3.8% in October

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s core machinery orders rose 3.8% in October from the previous month after seasonal adjustment, the Cabinet Office said Monday, showing signs that capital spending by nonmanufacturers are bottoming out after sluggishness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Private-sector orders excluding those for ships and power equipment, closely watched as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, totaled ¥870.8 billion, marking their first growth in three months.

The Cabinet Office said that the pickup in machinery orders is at a standstill, keeping its assessment unchanged for the second straight month.

An agency official said: “A recovery is spreading among nonmanufacturers. Capital expenditures will pick up if the COVID-19 situation becomes calm.”

Nonmanufacturers’ orders increased 16.5% thanks to a large-scale rail car order and growing demand for computers and agriculture machinery.

Orders from manufactures dropped 15.4% after orders for chemical machinery grew in September.

Overall machinery orders, including those from the public sector and abroad, climbed 24.9% to ¥2,965.5 billion.