Machine-tool orders placed with Japanese manufacturers in 2004 grew to a 14-year high, reflecting active capital spending by makers of automobiles, electrical and electronEic equipment, and precision instruments, an industry body said Friday.

Machine-tool makers won orders totaling E.236 trillion last year, up 45.2 percent over the previous year and the largest amount since 1990, according to the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association.

The total included a record E63.3 billion in exports, up 37.6 percent, as Japanese automakers expanded production facilities in the United States and Europe to meet robust loEcal demand for their vehicles.

Exports to China and India also increased sharply.

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