Japan: Machinery orders drop for second consecutive month in August
Core machinery orders, a leading indicator for capital spending over a three- to six-month period, contracted for the second month in a row in August, suggesting that an uncertain global economic outlook is weighing on investment planning. Headline machinery orders (private sector, excluding volatile orders) declined 2.4% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms in August, following the 6.6% drop in July. The print, however, slightly overshot the 2.5% decrease expected by market analysts.
Compared to the same month of the previous year, core machinery orders tumbled 14.5% in August, contrasting July’s 0.3% increase. The print marked the steepest drop in nearly five years. The annual average variation in core machinery orders swung from a 1.0% rise in July to a 1.1% decline in August.