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Japan’s core machinery orders posted their biggest monthly fall in nearly two years in February, official data showed on Wednesday, dragged down by a steep drop in demand from IT and other service firms to extend their decline into a second month.

The data adds to concerns that Japanese firms are holding off on investments due to rising energy and raw materials costs, fueling fears about the pace of economic growth as the world’s third-largest economy tries to recover to pre-pandemic levels.

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