TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan core machinery orders fell in March for a second straight month, indicating firms’ cautious about capital spending amid worries about the global economic slowdown.
Japan’s economy emerged from recession in the first quarter as a post-COVID consumption rebound offset global headwinds. But tame reading in the machinery orders may cast doubts about the pace of the economic recovery.
Core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as a barometer of capital expenditure in the coming six to nine months, declined 3.9% in March from the previous month, Cabinet Office data showed on Monday.
That was weaker than the median forecast of a 0.7% advance by economists in a Reuters poll.
Compared with a year earlier, core orders, which exclude volatile numbers from shipping and electric utilities, fell 3.5% in March, according to the data. That was also weaker than a 1.4 percent gain of forecast.
Manufacturers surveyed by the Cabinet Office are expecting core orders to rise 4.6% in April-June, after a 2.6% growth in the previous quarter.
The government kept its view on machinery orders, saying they are “stalling”.
(This story has been refiled to remove a duplicate word in paragraph 1)
(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Kim Coghill)