Core machinery orders rise 5.4% in October

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Cabinet Office building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s core machinery orders rose 5.4% in October from the previous month after seasonal adjustment, led by strong demand from information service and construction companies, the Cabinet Office said Wednesday.

The reading was higher than the median forecast for a rise of 2.5% in a Jiji Press survey of economic research institutes.

Private-sector orders excluding those for ships and power equipment, closely watched as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, totaled ¥914.7 billion, marking their first increase in three years, the Cabinet Office said.

The government agency kept its basic view on machinery orders unchanged, saying that their pickup has come to a pause.

Orders from nonmanufacturers jumped 14% to ¥484.2 billion. Demand for computers remained strong in the information service sector, while there were also robust orders for construction and agricultural machinery.

Manufacturers’ orders fell 6.4% to ¥425.4 billion. Orders from chemical makers fell after they placed big-ticket orders, including for boilers, in September. Orders from auto and auto parts makers were also weak.

“Orders from manufacturers started showing signs of leveling off” amid slowing overseas economies, a Cabinet Office official said.

Overall machinery orders, including those from the public sector and abroad, grew 3.3% to ¥2,681.3 billion.