Japan Sept core machinery orders sees unexpected rise

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's core machinery orders unexpectedly rose 2.9 per cent in September, government data showed on Thursday, and companies forecast only a modest decline in orders in October-December in a welcome sign that business investment will pick up.

The month-on-month rise in core orders, which exclude those of ships and electric power utilities, compared with a 1.9 per cent drop projected by economists in a Reuters poll. It followed a 4.7 per cent gain in August, the Cabinet Office data showed.

Companies surveyed by the Cabinet Office forecast that core orders will fall 0.3 per cent in October-December, after rising 5.6 percent in July-September, which was the second straight quarter of increases.

Compared with a year earlier, core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, increased 7.3 per cent in September, against a 1.3 per cent decline expected.

The Cabinet Office maintained its assessment of machinery orders, saying they are showing signs of moderate recovery.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.