• Kyodo

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Core private-sector machinery orders fell a seasonally adjusted 3.3 percent in August from the previous month for the first drop in three months, the government said Thursday, indicating fears of a global economic slowdown have weakened the appetite for corporate capital investment.

The fall is largely attributable to the weakness of the manufacturing sector, which marked a 15.1 percent drop in such orders, the largest since November 2009.

There were no major large orders amounting to over ¥10 billion from any surveyed industries, a Cabinet Office official said, adding that the office intends to watch the orders trend “carefully” going forward.

The core orders, which exclude those normally seen as volatile, such as orders for ships and those from electric utilities, were valued at ¥717.3 billion in August.

With orders from overseas and the public sector also weakening, overall orders shrank 12.6 percent to ¥1,657.3 billion, the lowest level since August 2009. The overall orders, received by 280 select machinery makers, cover demand from the private and public sectors as well as from abroad.

Orders from nonmanufacturers went up 3.6 percent for the first growth in two months.

Despite the weakness in the orders, the office maintained its assessment on the key gauge on companies’ capital investment appetite, saying machinery orders are “seesawing.”

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