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Japan Core Machinery Orders Fall Unexpectedly

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Japan core machinery orders declined unexpectedly in September, data from the Cabinet Office showed Monday.

Core machinery orders, a leading indicator of private capital investment, declined 2.9 percent month-on-month, following a 2.4 percent drop in August.

This was the third consecutive fall in orders. Orders were forecast to expand 0.9 percent.

By sector, orders in manufacturing declined 5.2 percent, while that in non-manufacturing grew 2.6 percent.

In the fourth quarter, core orders are forecast to grow 3.5 percent.

The continued fall in machinery orders suggests that the recent strength in capital goods shipments won't last, Marcel Thieliant, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

The economist forecasts a 0.7 percent sequential drop in business investment in the fourth quarter. Investment growth is set to slow to 1.0 percent in 2020 from 1.8 percent this year.

On a yearly basis, core orders rose 5.1 percent, in contrast to August's 14.5 percent decrease and slower than the 8.1 percent increase in August.

The third quarter GDP data is due on November 14. The economy is forecast to grow 0.9 percent after rising 1.3 percent in the second quarter.

Elsewhere, data from Bank of Japan showed that bank lending grew at a steady pace of 2 percent in October.

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