Japan Feb. Machinery Orders Log 1st Fall in 3 Months

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 February fell 4.5% from the previous month, down for the first time in three months, the Cabinet Office said Wednesday.

Private-sector orders excluding those for ships and power equipment, closely watched as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, stood at ¥888.0 billion.

The February decline, which followed a 9.5% rise in January, was milder than the median estimate of a 7.8% decrease in a Jiji Press survey of 17 economic research institutes, whose estimates ranged from a fall of 2.0% to a drop of 13.0%.

The Cabinet Office maintained its basic view that machinery orders appear to be at a standstill.

In February, machinery orders from manufacturers grew 10.2% to ¥433.3 billion, reflecting a rise in demand for cranes and other transporting machines from general-purpose and production machinery makers, as well as a large order for nuclear power generation equipment from the nonferrous metal industry.

Orders from nonmanufacturers plunged 14.7% to ¥460.6 billion, following the previous month’s brisk orders for construction machines from construction companies and for train cars and other equipment from the transport and postal services sector.