Japan's core machinery orders rose 2.6 percent in October from the previous month to JPY 704.4 billion (USD 8.5 billion) for the first increase in three months, the government said Wednesday. The figure rebounded from the 4.3 percent contraction in September, according to data released by the Cabinet Office. Core private-sector orders, which exclude volatile demand from electric utilities and for ships, are considered a key indicator of corporate capital spending in the next three to six months.
By industry, orders from manufacturers fell 3.6 percent month-on-month in October while those from non-manufacturers grew 2.8 percent. Overseas demand, an indicator of future Japanese exports, rose 9.4 percent for the first gain in two months. Despite the rise, the Cabinet Office downgraded its overall assessment for the first time since June, saying, "The machinery orders have been weakening." The office previously said that the orders have been seesawing.
On Monday, the Cabinet Office confirmed Japan's economy shrank in the July-September period for a second consecutive quarter of contraction, indicating that the country is slipping into a recession due to sluggish exports and external demands.