Japan core machinery orders fall in April
Japanese core private-sector machinery orders – a highly volatile series seen as an indicator of corporate spending – unexpected declined in April.
According to the Cabinet Office, orders were down 3.3% in April on a monthly basis – far lower than forecasts of a 1.2% rise.
Analysts say the fall in orders is attributed to the impact on production of the March earthquake and tsunami, which disrupted supply chains and led to power shortages.
In the wake of the twin disasters, industrial output suffered a record drop and spending plunged as consumer and business confidence took a battering.
The Japanese economy, which is the world’s third largest, emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2009 – much sooner than many other economies – driven by export demand.
However, exports have fallen significantly after the twin disasters forced some of Japan’s largest exporters to halt production.
As a result, the economy was pushed back into recession in the first quarter of the year as the catastrophes impacted on growth.