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June core machinery orders post record jump

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s seasonally adjusted core machinery orders in June rose 13.9 percent from the previous month, marking the steepest growth since comparable data became available in April 2005, the Cabinet Office said Wednesday.

Private-sector orders excluding those for ships and power equipment, closely watched as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, came to ¥960.3 billion.

The June result, which followed a 7.8 percent decrease in May, compared with a median estimate of a 1.3 percent decline by 18 economic research institutes surveyed by Jiji Press. Their estimates ranged from a fall of 5.5 percent to a rise of 6 percent.

In June, orders from manufacturers fell 1.7 percent, while core orders from nonmanufacturers surged 30.5 percent.

The growth chiefly reflected large-lot railway car orders from the transportation and postal service industry, a Cabinet Office official said.

Orders related to labor-saving investments in the financial and real estate industries remained strong, the official added.

Still, the Cabinet Office left its assessment unchanged, saying that machinery orders are picking up.

Orders for machine tools and industrial machinery have started falling against the backdrop of the prolonged trade friction between the United States and China and slowing growth of the Chinese economy, according to the official.

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