Core machinery orders in Japan decreased 3.3% on-month in August, official data showed Thursday as Europe's debt crisis and China's slowdown cut into the export-reliant manufacturing industry.
The private-sector data excluding volatile orders from power companies and for ships registered the first drop in three months and reversed a 4.6% jump in July, according to figures from the Cabinet Office.
The fall was also worse than a median forecast of a 2.4% decline in a poll of economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and the Nikkei economic daily.
The machinery orders are widely regarded as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending and are watched for movements that may reflect the outlook for the broader economy.
Japan's manufacturers and exporters have struggled amid a strong yen, turmoil in Europe and a slowdown in China.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012