Core Machinery Orders Rise 1.6% in Dec.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s seasonally adjusted core machinery orders in December went up 1.6% from the previous month, following an 8.3% fall in November, the Cabinet Office said Thursday.

Private-sector orders excluding those for ships and power equipment, closely watched as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, stood at ¥851.9 billion.

The Cabinet Office maintained its basic view that machinery orders are showing signs of a standstill.

Orders from manufacturers increased 2.1% to ¥394.1 billion, the first rise in four months. While orders from general-purpose and production machinery makers remained sluggish, those from chipmaking equipment makers recovered.

Orders from nonmanufacturers declined 2.5% to ¥458.1 billion, down for the second straight month, reflecting weak demand from transport and postal services providers.

Overall machinery orders, including those from the public sector and abroad, grew 6.5% to ¥2,828.7 billion.

Core machinery orders in October-December fell 5.0% from the previous quarter to ¥2,605.4 billion, down for two quarters in a row.

In January-March, core orders are projected to grow 4.3% to ¥2,717.9 billion. Still, a Cabinet Office official said, “We need to carefully watch how long the current trend of rising costs caused by the yen’s weakening and other factors will last.”

For the whole of 2022, core orders went up 5.2% from the previous year to ¥10,741.8 billion, rising for two consecutive years.