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Japan machinery orders fall less than expected

Published Wed, Mar 11, 2015 · 09:50 PM
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Tokyo

JAPAN'S core machinery orders fell 1.7 per cent in January from the previous month, underscoring the challenges facing the government as it attempts to nudge firms into boosting spending on wages and equipment with its aggressive stimulus policies.

Nonetheless, emerging signs of a steady pick up in exports have some analysts taking a more sanguine view of the outlook for capital spending even as the economy struggles to motor on from last year's recession.

Indeed, the decrease in machinery orders was smaller than a median market forecast for a 4.1 per cent drop, and the government said the decline was largely payback for the 8.3 per cent rise in December - the fastest pace in six months. "Capital spending is recovering, although at a slower pace than initially thought," said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance. "There are emerging signs of recovery in exports so capital expenditure will pick up." Compared with a year earlier, core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, increased 1.9 per cent in January, data by the…

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