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Japan's Machinery Orders Slide 6.2%

Japanese core private-sector machinery orders, a closely watched indicator of capital spending, dropped by a bigger than expected 6.2% in January, official figures showed March 10.

Machinery orders placed by the manufacturing sector fell by 5.1% in January from December and orders from non-manufacturers were down 8.1%.

Year-on-year, core private-sector machinery orders, which exclude particularly volatile demand from electric utilities and for ships, were up 9.8% in January, after a rise of 15.5% in December.

Rising spending by companies on plant and equipment is playing a key role in Japan's economic revival and the figures are closely watched by investors looking for evidence that this time the recovery is for real.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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