Monday, March 12, 2012

Japan's core machinery orders up 3.4% in January

TOKYO: Japan's core machinery orders rose 3.4 percent in January from the previous month, the Cabinet Office said Monday, hinting at strong economic growth in the first quarter of the year.

The core data, which exclude volatile demand from power companies and for ships, was better than the 2.0 percent hike expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

Private-sector machinery orders stood at 757.8 billion yen ($9.2 billion) in January, the data showed.

Core orders, seen as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, fell 7.1 percent in December from a month earlier as firms remained cautious due to a strong yen and a slowdown in global demand.

Core orders are expected to rise 2.3 percent in the January-March period from the previous quarter, supported by massive government spending programmes to rebuild areas hit by last year's March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

- AFP/cc

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