Core machine orders in Japan advanced a seasonally adjusted 2.1 percent on month in February, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday – coming in at 891.0 billion yen.
That beat forecasts for a decline of 2.5 percent following the 8.2 percent spike in January.
On a yearly basis, core machine orders advanced 2.4 percent – again exceeding expectations for a flat reading following the 2.9 percent gain in the previous month.
The total value of machinery orders received by 280 manufacturers operating in Japan, including volatile ones for ships and those from electric power companies, fell 2.3 percent on month and climbed 9.4 percent on year.
Manufacturing orders added 8.0 percent on month and 21.4 percent on year to 442.3 billion yen, while non-manufacturing orders were flat on month and down 10.4 percent on year at 465.7 billion yen.
Government orders surged 23.6 percent on month and 6.7 percent on year to 256.6 billion yen, while orders from overseas sank 7.8 percent on month and gained 14.8 percent on year to 1.011 trillion yen. Orders from agencies added 3.3 percent on month and lost 5.1 percent on year to 119.4 billion yen.
For the first quarter of 2018, core machine orders are predicted to fall 1.5 percent on quarter and 0.3 percent on year.
Also on Wednesday:
• The Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were down 0.1 percent on month in March. That was in line with expectation s following the upwardly revised 0.1 percent increase in February (originally flat).
On a yearly basis, producer prices climbed 2.1 percent – exceeding expectations for 2.0 percent following the upwardly revised 2.6 percent increase in the previous month (originally 2.5 percent).
Export prices were down 0.9 percent on month and 0.5 percent on year in March, the bank said, while import prices dropped 1.7 percent on month and climbed 1.8 percent on year.
• The central bank also said that overall bank lending in Japan was up 2.0 percent on year in March, coming in at 523.076 trillion yen. That follows the 2.1 percent increase in February.
Excluding trusts, bank lending advanced an annual 1.9 percent to 454.740 trillion yen – down from 2.1 percent in the previous month.
Lending from trusts gained 2.5 percent too 68.35 trillion yen, the bank while lending from foreign banks surged an annual 28.3 percent to 2.848 trillion yen.