Aug. core machinery orders increase 6.8%

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s seasonally adjusted core machinery orders rose 6.8 percent month on month in August, following an 11.0 percent jump in July, the Cabinet Office said Wednesday.

The August result beat the median forecast of a 4.0 percent decline in a Jiji Press poll of 19 economic research institutes. Their estimates ranged from a fall of 5.4 percent to a rise of 3.0 percent.

Private-sector orders excluding those for ships and power equipment, closely watched as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, came to ¥981.5 billion.

Watchers’ sentiment falls

Sentiment among so-called economy watchers in Japan, or people with economy-sensitive jobs, fell for the first time in two months in September, due chiefly to the impact from a powerful earthquake in Hokkaido, the Cabinet Office said Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted diffusion index gauging the surveyed people’s sentiment compared with three months before stood at 48.6, down 0.1 point from the preceding month, the government agency said. The DI stood below the boom-or-bust threshold of 50 for the ninth straight month.

The economy watchers believe that the Japanese economy is recovering at a moderate pace, the Cabinet Office said, keeping the view unchanged.

The index for Hokkaido plunged 11.6 points to 36.1, following the 6.7-magnitude temblor on Sept. 6, which measured up to 7, the highest reading on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, in the northernmost prefecture, according to the survey.

Among the surveyed economy watchers, many in Hokkaido cited effects of the quake. “The number of foreign guests fell sharply,” an official at a local hotel said.

Meanwhile, an official at a food maker in the Hokuriku central region said that higher material prices are putting pressure on its earnings.

The outlook DI for the surveyed people’s economic confidence two to three months ahead came to 51.3.Speech

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