Core private-sector machinery orders grew a seasonally adjusted 10.8 percent in February, marking the first month-on-month rise in three months, the Cabinet Office said Monday.

Both manufacturers and nonmanufacturers were active in placing orders, it said.

Machinery orders had fallen 15.6 percent in January and 0.5 percent in December.

Core orders — considered a leading indicator of corporate capital spending six to nine months ahead — totaled 846.3 billion yen.

Orders from manufacturers rose 6.3 percent, posting their first rise in three months, while those from nonmanufacturers grew 12.3 percent, the first pickup in two months.

Despite the increase, Yoshihiko Senoo, director of the office’s Business Statistics Department, said overall core orders in February were still low.

He noted that the February core-order figure represents an unadjusted 16.1 percent drop from a year earlier, marking the ninth consecutive month of decline.

The average value of orders placed in January and February fell 7.2 percent from the average logged in the three-month period beginning October, he said.

“The office’s assessment for machinery orders remains unchanged for the sixth month, that they are on a declining trend,” Senoo said.

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