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Japan Investment February 2024

Japan: Core machinery orders grow at fastest pace in a year in February

Core machinery orders—which cover the private sector, exclude volatile orders and are a leading indicator for capital spending over the coming three-to-six-month period—rose 7.7% month-on-month in seasonally adjusted terms in February (January: -1.7% mom). The figure marked the best reading since January 2023 and strongly beat market expectations.

On an annual basis, machinery orders declined 1.8% in February, easing from January’s 10.9% fall. Meanwhile, the trend pointed down, with the annual average variation of machinery orders coming in at minus 5.4%, down from January’s minus 4.6% reading.

Despite February’s acceleration, our panelists continue to forecast that fixed investment growth eased in Q1 2024 from Q4 2023, weighing on GDP growth in turn.

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