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Core machinery orders decline 7.8% in May

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — The nation’s seasonally adjusted core machinery orders in May fell 7.8 percent from the previous month, posting the first drop in four months, the Cabinet Office said Monday.

Private-sector orders excluding those for ships and power equipment, a closely watched leading indicator for corporate capital spending, came to ¥842.9 billion.

The drop was bigger than the median estimate of a 4.0 percent decline among 18 economic research institutes. Their estimates ranged from a fall of 8.9 percent to a rise of 5.0 percent.

The Cabinet Office maintained its basic assessment that machinery orders are picking up.

Some sectors declined on the heels of the previous month’s strength, pushing down the overall performance, a Cabinet Office official said, adding the general trend has not changed.

The official also said there has been “no noticeable impact” of the U.S.-China trade war.

Core orders from nonmanufacturers fell 9.0 percent to ¥471 billion due to sluggish orders from the transportation and postal service industry.

Orders from manufacturers dropped 7.4 percent to ¥370.6 billion, reflecting the weakness of shipbuilders and general-purpose and production machine producers.

Total machinery orders, including those from the public sector and abroad, declined 6.0 percent to ¥2,211.9 billion, the first decline in two months.Speech

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