Japan: Machinery orders expand at fastest pace in five months in March
Core machinery orders, a leading indicator for capital spending over a three- to six-month period, posted the strongest increase in five months in March, offering hopes that capital expending could revive in the months ahead. Headline machinery orders (private sector, excluding volatile orders) expanded 3.8% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms in March, following the 1.8% rise in February. The print contrasted the 0.7% decrease expected by market analysts.
Overall non-manufacturing orders expanded strongly in March, while manufacturing books contracted. Moreover, export orders expanded for the second consecutive month in March.
Compared to the same month of the previous year, core machinery orders fell 0.7% in March, following February’s 5.5% decrease. The annual average growth in core machinery orders rose from 2.6% in February to 2.8% in March.