• Kyodo

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Japan’s core private-sector machinery orders rose 6.3 percent in July from the previous month as those from carmakers and other manufacturers continued to recover from a slump triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Thursday.

The orders, which exclude those for ships and from electricity utilities due to their volatility, totaled ¥751.29 billion ($7.1 billion), according to the Cabinet Office. Machinery orders are seen as a leading indicator of capital spending.

The data have shown some volatility in recent months, with the latest figure following a 7.6 percent decrease in June and 1.7 percent rise in May. Japan fully lifted a state of emergency over the pandemic in late May.

The office said machinery orders are “on a decreasing trend.” It had previously said they were “decreasing.” But the change of wording represents neither an upgrade nor a downgrade, it said.

Orders from manufacturers grew 5.0 percent to ¥313.11 billion, up for the second straight month. Those from fabricated metal-makers and petroleum and coal producers notably increased.

Orders from nonmanufacturers climbed 3.4 percent to ¥443.03 billion after dropping 10.4 percent in June. Sectors such as real estate, financial and insurance services and transportation and postal services contributed to the advance.

Total orders were up 7.0 percent to ¥1.83 trillion, the first increase in four months.

Orders from the public sector plunged 30.4 percent to ¥208.61 billion for the second straight monthly fall while those from overseas, seen as an indicator of future exports, soared 13.8 percent to ¥614.19 billion, marking the first rise in five months.

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