Japan’s core machinery orders rose in December at the fastest pace in six months, and companies expect orders to increase in the current quarter in an positive sign that business investment will underpin a firm recovery for the recession-hit economy.
The encouraging data is a welcome relief for the Bank of Japan at a time of considerable uncertainty in the global economy, with plunging oil prices and rising deflationary pressures prompting a wave of monetary easings around the world.
The 8.3 percent month-on-month gain in core machinery orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as a leading indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, blew past the median estimate for a 2.4 percent increase.
The strength of the data was further burnished by a survey from the Cabinet Office showing companies also expect orders to rise 1.5 percent in January-March, stepping up from a 0.4 percent quarterly increase in October-December.
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