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[TOKYO] Japan's core machinery orders rose 1.5 per cent in February from the previous month, government data showed on Wednesday, underscoring a gradual pick-up in capital expenditure.
The rise in the core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, was below the 2.7 per cent gain expected by economists in a Reuters poll.
It followed a 3.2 per cent decline in January, the Cabinet Office data showed.
Compared with a year earlier, core orders, which exclude ships and orders from the electric power utilities, grew 5.6 per cent in February, after an 8.2 per cent slide in the previous month.