Hinting at strong economic growth in the first quarter of the year, Japan's core machinery orders rose 3.4% in January from the previous month, the Cabinet Office said on March 12.
The core data, which exclude volatile demand from power companies and for ships, was better than the 2% hike expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
Private-sector machinery orders stood at 757.8 billion yen (US$9.2 billion) in January, the data showed.
Core orders, seen as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, fell 7.1% in December from a month earlier as firms remained cautious due to a strong yen and a slowdown in global demand.
Core orders are expected to rise 2.3% in the January-March period from the previous quarter, supported by massive government spending programs to rebuild areas hit by last year's March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012