Raising optimism about prospects for a recovery in the world's number two economy, Japan's machinery orders increased 10.5% in September from the previous month, following a 0.5% rise in August and a 9.3% drop in July.
Markets had expected a much smaller increase of about 3% in the core orders, which exclude particularly volatile demand from power companies and for ships.
Orders were down 22% from a year earlier, reflecting steep cuts by Japanese companies in spending on plants and equipment in an effort to weather the worst economic slump in decades.
The Cabinet Office upgraded its assessment of demand, saying that earlier falls appeared to be coming to an end.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009