The Straits Times
Published on Nov 08, 2012

Japan's September core machinery orders tumble, recession eyed


TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's core machinery orders plunged more than expected in September in another sign that the world's third-largest economy was slipping into recession, dragged down by a slowing global economy, tensions with China and weakening domestic demand.

The nation's current account surplus, the broad measure of its trade and other flows, also fell more than forecast, following a sharp drop in exports.

Core machinery orders, seen as a leading indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, fell 4.3 per cent in September compared with a median forecast of a 1.8 per cent decline and a 3.3 per cent drop in August, government data showed on Thursday.

The data are the latest in a string of gloomy statistics reflecting the pain inflicted on the economy by the slowdown in China, Japan's top export market, compounded by a wave of anti-Japanese sentiment triggered by a territorial dispute.