Japan's core machinery orders up 2.9 percent in March
The orders, widely regarded as a leading indicator of capital spending, were stronger than a seasonally adjusted and revised 1.4-percent drop in February and a 2.5-percent increase in January, reflecting an increase in corporate investment, the Cabinet office said.
The government maintained its basic assessment, saying the orders have "shown signs of a moderate pickup."
In the reporting period, orders from the manufacturing sector was up 0.3 percent to 363.8 billion yen, while those from non- manufacturers grew 4.7 percent to 497.8 billion yen.
Total orders, including those from the domestic public sector and abroad, increased 1.8 percent to 2,482.0 billion yen.
Overseas demand for Japanese machinery, an indicator of future exports, shrank 13.5 percent to 922.5 billion yen, after a revised 6.6-percent gain in February. ■