Japan's core machinery orders jumped 7.5 percent in February from the previous month to JPY 703.8 billion (USD 7.1 billion) for the first increase in two months, the government said Thursday.
The figure rebounded from the 13.1 percent contraction in January, according to data released by the Cabinet Office, suggesting that companies were willing to invest in plant and equipment thanks to the recent weaker yen and rising stock prices.
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 gained 8.6 percent month-on-month in February, while those from non-manufacturers edged up 0.6 percent. Overseas demand, an indicator of future Japanese exports, grew 8.0 percent for the first gain in three months.
Despite the rise, the Cabinet Office maintained its overall assessment, saying, "The machinery orders have been showing signs of moderately picking up, " using the same wording for January.