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Japan December Core Machine Orders Plunge

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Core machine orders in Japan plummeted a seasonally adjusted 15.7 percent on month in December, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday - worth 744.1 billion yen.

The headline figure was well shy of forecasts for a decline of 4.0 percent following the 9.3 percent jump in November.

On a yearly basis, core machine orders added 6.7 percent - also missing expectations for a jump of 17.4 percent following the 16.6 percent gain in the previous month.

The total number of machinery orders, including those volatile ones for ships and from electric power companies, shed 3.1 percent on month and gained 15.1 percent on year in December to 2,090.2 billion yen.

Manufacturing orders plummeted 17.3 percent on month and gained 5.5 percent on year to 292.6 billion yen in December, while non-manufacturing orders dropped 17.2 percent on month and climbed 7.6 percent on year to 455.7 billion yen.

Government orders added 6.5 percent on month and 10.8 percent on year to 264.9 billion yen. Orders from overseas gained 8.6 percent on month and 25.0 percent on year to 841.7 billion yen. Orders from agencies were up 3.0 percent on month and 15.3 percent on year to 102.7 billion yen.

For the fourth quarter of 2013, core machine orders added 1.5 percent on quarter and 13.3 percent on year to 2,433.9 billion yen after rising 4.3 percent on quarter and 9.6 percent on year in Q3.

For all of 2013, orders climbed 5.8 percent on year.

For the first quarter of 2014, core machine orders are forecast to have fallen 2.9 percent on quarter and added 10.5 percent on year to 2,362.2 billion yen.

Also on Wednesday:

• The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that an index measuring tertiary industry activity in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent on month in December, coming in at 99.8.

That missed expectations for a decline of 0.3 percent following the upwardly revised 0.8 percent increase in November (originally 0.7 percent).

Industries that saw activity decline included retail trade, postal service, finance, real estate, personal services and utilities.

Industries that saw activity increase included communications, medical care, scientific research and compound services.

• The Bank of Japan said that the M2 money stock in Japan jumped 4.4 percent on year in January, coming in at 866.5 trillion yen.

That exceeded expectations for an increase of 4.2 percent following the upwardly revised 4.3 percent increase in December (originally 4.2 percent).

The M3 money stock gained 3.5 percent on year to 1,178.6 trillion yen - also topping forecasts for an increase of 3.4 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous month.

The L money stock was up an annual 4.4 percent to 1,536.4 trillion yen after rising 4.5 percent a month earlier.

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