Japan Core Machine Orders Plunge In January

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Core machine orders in Japan plummeted a seasonally adjusted 13.1 percent on month in January to 654.4 billion yen, the Cabinet Office said on Monday - falling for the first time in four months.

The headline figure was well shy of forecasts for a decline of 1.7 percent following the 2.8 percent increase in December.

On a yearly basis, core machine orders dropped 9.7 percent - also missing expectations for a fall of 0.3 percent following the 3.4 percent contraction in the previous month.

The total number of machinery orders, including those volatile ones for ships and from electric power companies, saw a decline of 3.0 percent on month and 24.8 percent on year in January to 1,797.6 billion yen.

Manufacturing orders dropped 13.2 percent on month and 19.0 percent on year to 256.8 billion yen in January, while non-manufacturing orders lost 6.3 percent on month and 1.5 percent on year to 409.9 billion yen.

Government orders plummeted 26.1 percent on month and 21.8 percent on year to 179.8 billion yen. Orders from overseas lost 4.8 percent on month and 36.7 percent on year to 667.5 billion yen. Orders from agencies shed 0.7 percent on month but gained 2.2 percent on year to 90.2 billion yen.

For the first quarter of 2013, core machine orders are forecast to rise 0.8 percent on quarter and fall 1.5 percent on year.

Also on Monday, the Bank of Japan said that the M2 money stock in Japan was up 2.9 percent on year in February, standing at 828.2 trillion yen. That beat forecasts for an increase of 2.7 percent on year, which would have been unchanged from the January reading.

M3 money stock was up an annual 2.4 percent to 1,136.6 trillion yen - also exceeding forecasts for a gain of 2.3 percent. That also would have been unchanged from the previous month.

The L money stock added 1.3 percent on year to 1,472.0 trillion yen after collecting a revised annual 1.2 percent a month earlier.

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