Japan December core machinery orders rise 8.3% in boost to outlook

Excavators in a machine yard in Tokyo on Dec 11, 2014. Japan's core machinery orders rose 8.3 per cent in December and companies expect orders to pick up from January to March. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Excavators in a machine yard in Tokyo on Dec 11, 2014. Japan's core machinery orders rose 8.3 per cent in December and companies expect orders to pick up from January to March. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's core machinery orders rose 8.3 percent in December and companies expect orders to pick up in January-March, government data showed on Thursday, in an encouraging sign that capital expenditure will help the economy.

The month-on-month rise in core orders, which exclude those of ships and electric power utilities, compared with a 2.4 per cent rise forecast by economists. It followed a 1.3 percent increase in November, Cabinet Office data showed.

Companies surveyed expect their core machinery orders to rise 1.5 per cent in the January-March quarter, after increasing 0.4 per cent in October-December.

Compared with a year earlier, core orders in December rose 11.4 per cent, against the median estimate of a 5.9 percent increase.

The Cabinet Office raised its assessment of machinery orders, saying they are in a gradual recovery.