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[TOKYO] Japan's core machinery orders fell 0.4 per cent in February from the previous month, Cabinet Office data showed on Monday, suggesting companies were cautious about raising capital spending amid uncertainty over the economic outlook.
The fall in core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, compared with the median estimate of a 2.8 per cent decline in a Reuters poll of economists.
It followed a 1.7 per cent fall in January.
Compared with a year earlier, core orders, which exclude those of ships and electric power utilities, increased 5.9 per cent in February, versus a 3.7 per cent rise seen by economists.