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Japan Core Machinery Orders Rise 9.5% in January

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Cabinet Office is seen in the Kasumigaseki area of Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s seasonally adjusted core machinery orders in January jumped 9.5% from the previous month, 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, totaled ¥929.6 billion.

The January result, which followed a 0.3% increase in December, beat the median forecast of a 1.8% increase by 18 economic research institutes surveyed by Jiji Press. Their estimates ranged from a fall of 0.5% to a rise of 3.5%.

The Cabinet Office maintained its basic view that machinery orders appear to be at a standstill. Of the private-sector orders, those from nonmanufacturers soared 19.5% to ¥539.9 billion.

Investment in digital equipment such as computers grew in the transport and postal services sector and the financial sector. Orders for construction machines from construction companies also expanded.

Meanwhile, orders from manufacturers fell 2.6% to ¥393 billion, as those from a wide range of sectors, including nonferrous metal producers and electronic machinery makers, declined.

“Orders from manufacturers remain on a declining trend” amid a global economic slowdown and a drop in demand for semiconductors, a Cabinet Office official said.

Overall machinery orders, including those from the public sector and abroad, shrank 10.2% to ¥2,527.4 billion, with those from abroad plunging 25.2%.