Japan's orders of machinery surged in June on strong demand for chip manufacturing equipment and mobile phones in fresh evidence of growth in the world's second-largest economy, the government said Tuesday. Core machinery orders, a leading indicator of Japanese corporate capital spending, jumped 11.1% month-on-month, marking the first increase in three months. It was also the first time in seven months that core orders, which exclude volatile orders from electric utilities and for ships, posted double-digit growth, the Cabinet Office said.
On a year-on-year basis, June core machinery orders expanded 5.4%. Richard Jerram, Japan chief economist at Macquarie Securities, said the data clearly pointed to an upturn in economic activity, but warned the speed of improvement is difficult to gauge from one month's figures due to the volatility of the machinery orders data.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005