Core machine orders in Japan climbed a seasonally adjusted 4.6 percent on month in July, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday - rising for the second straight month.
The headline figure was sharply higher than forecasts for an increase of 2.0 percent following the 5.6 percent jump in June and the 14.8 percent plunge in May.
On a yearly basis, core machine orders collected 1.7 percent - also topping expectations for a contraction of 3.6 percent following the 9.9 percent plunge in the previous month and the 1.0 percent increase in May.
The total number of machinery orders, including those volatile ones for ships and from electric power companies, saw a decrease of 2.6 percent on month and an increase of 2.6 percent on year in July to 1,897.2 billion yen.
Manufacturing orders spiked 12.0 percent on month and 4.0 percent on year to 328.4 billion yen in July, while non-manufacturing orders shed 2.1 percent on month and 1.0 percent on year to 415.2 billion yen.
Government orders plunged 13.5 percent on month but gained 10.4 percent on year to 232.1 billion yen. Orders from overseas added 3.0 percent on month but fell 1.9 percent on year to 734.0 billion yen. Orders from agencies surged 14.1 percent on month and 35.7 percent on year to 104.3 billion yen.
The forecast for the third quarter of 2012 suggests a decline of 1.2 percent on quarter and 4.8 percent on year.
Also on Wednesday:
• An index measuring the prices of domestic corporate goods was up 0.3 percent on month in August, the Bank of Japan said, standing at 100.3. That beat forecasts for an increase of 0.1 percent following the downwardly revised contraction of 0.5 percent in July.
On a yearly basis, prices were down 1.8 percent versus expectations for a decline of 1.9 percent following the downwardly revised 2.2 percent fall in the previous month. Export prices were up 0.3 percent on month and down 2.6 percent on year, while import prices were up 0.4 percent on month and down 4.8 percent on year.
• An index measuring tertiary industry activity in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent on month in July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said - coming in at 98.7. That missed forecasts for a contraction of 0.5 percent following the upwardly revised 0.2 percent increase in June.
Industries that contributed to the decrease included wholesale and retail trade, transportation, finance, personal services, accommodations and learning support. Industries that contributed to the increase included utilities, real estate, communications, scientific research and health care.
• Upon the release of the data, the Japanese yen showed little changes major rivals, trading near 77.78 against the U.S. dollar, 99.97 versus the euro, 82.82 against the franc and 125.01 versus the pound.
by RTT Staff Writer
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