The value of core machine orders in Japan plunged a seasonally adjusted 11.9 percent on month in December, the Cabinet Office said on Thursday – coming in at 792.6 billion yen.
The headline figure was well shy of forecasts for a decline of 2.0 percent following the 5.7 percent gain in November.
On a yearly basis, core machine orders skidded 5.0 percent – again missing forecasts for a gain of 1.8 percent following the 4.1 percent gain in the previous month.
The total value of machine orders, which includes volatile ones for ships and electric power companies, fell a seasonally adjusted 14.9 percent on month and 5.6 percent on year in December.
Manufacturing orders shed 13.3 percent on month but and added 3.0 percent on year to 364.8 billion yen, while non-manufacturing orders lost 7.3 percent on month and 10.9 percent on year to 445.7 billion yen.
Government orders gained 1.1 percent on month and fell 12.6 percent on year to 253.5 billion yen. Orders from overseas skidded 13.2 percent on month and gained 10.5 percent on year to 957.2 billion yen. Orders from agencies fell 5.9 percent on month and 3.8 percent on year to 117.9 billion yen.
For the fourth quarter of 2017, core machine orders eased 0.1 percent on quarter and were roughly flat on year at 2,542.7 billion yen.
For the first quarter of 2018, core machine orders are forecast to have risen 0.6 percent on quarter and 0.3 percent on year.