A key gauge of the current state of the economy stayed above the boom-or-bust line of 50 percent in June for the second straight month, partly due to an improvement in consumption data, the government said Wednesday.

The index of coincident economic indicators came to 66.7 percent, up slightly from a revised 65 percent in May, the Cabinet Office’s Economic and Social Research Institute said in a preliminary report.

An institute official said that, as improvement in the economic data still lacked strength, the government is maintaining its view that the overall trend of the coincident index is “roughly flat.”

The official said the index could top 50 percent again in July, as there are signs of a pickup in production data.

Machinery orders fly

Industrial machinery builders landed 618.54 billion yen in orders from domestic and overseas customers in June, up 153.4 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Society of Industrial Machinery Manufacturers said Wednesday.

The society attributed the surge chiefly to a 146.7 billion yen petrochemical plant order from the Russia-Eastern Europe area, as well as a combined 115.5 billion yen in orders from other Asian nations for boilers, turbines and motors.

Breaking down overall June orders, domestic orders amounted to 255.77 billion yen, up 42.8 percent, the society said.

Foreign orders came to 362.77 billion yen, up 458.5 percent, it said.

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