Tuesday July 10, 2012
Japan core machinery orders tumble
TOKYO: Japan's core machinery orders tumbled in May in a sign that lingering worries about Europe's debt crisis, a slowing Chinese economy and weak economic data from the United States are hindering the country's recovery from last year's devastating earthquake.
Core machinery orders, which help to gauge the strength of capital spending, fell 14.8% in May, much more than the median forecast for a 3.3% decrease in a Reuters poll, as both manufacturers and service sector companies cut orders.
Japan's current account surplus also slumped by 62.6% in May from the same period a year earlier, faster than the median estimate for a 14.5% annual decline, as rising energy imports weighed on Japan's trade balance.
The 14.8% decline in core machinery orders was the largest since comparable data became available in April 2005, the Cabinet Office said yesterday.
Compared with a year earlier, core machinery orders rose 1% in May.
The current account surplus stood at 215.1 billion yen (US$2.70bil), against a median forecast for 493.1 billion yen and following a surplus of 333.8 billion yen in April. Reuters