Tokyo, Sept. 10 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s seasonally adjusted core machinery orders in July rose 6.3 pct 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, came to 751.3 billion yen.
The July result, which followed a 7.6 pct decrease in June, matched the upper end of forecasts among the 17 economic research institutes surveyed by Jiji Press. The median was for a 1.9 pct rise, while the weakest forecast was for a fall of 2.6 pct.
Despite the July growth, companies’ appetite for fixed investment is yet to recover after being hurt by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The government agency kept its basic assessment of machinery orders steady while fine-tuning the wording from “decreasing” to “on a decreasing trend.”
“The figure improved for the month but is still not good enough to upgrade our assessment,” a Cabinet Office official said.
Machinery orders from manufacturers increased 5.0 pct, led by brisk orders from shipbuilders and ceramic and stone product makers.
Core orders from nonmanufacturers rose 3.4 pct thanks to an increase in orders from the finance and insurance sector and the transportation and mail service sector.
“There is a possibility that some companies will revise their capital investment plans” due to the pandemic, said Koichi Fujishiro, an economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc.
Overall machinery orders, including those from the public sector and overseas, grew 7.0 pct to 1,831.1 billion yen, the first rise in four months.