Japan December core machinery orders rise 2.8 percent month-on-month

TOKYO Wed Feb 6, 2013 6:59pm EST

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's core machinery orders rose 2.8 percent in December, up for a third straight month, government data showed on Thursday, in a sign a global economic recovery and a weaker yen will encourage companies to increase their capital spending.

The rise in core orders, which exclude those of ships and power utilities, compared with a median market forecast for a 0.7 percent month-on-month decline. It followed a 3.9 percent rise in November and a 2.6 percent increase in October, the Cabinet Office data showed.

Compared with a year earlier, core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, fell 3.4 percent in December.

Manufacturers surveyed by the Cabinet Office forecast that core orders will rise 0.8 percent in January-March after rising 2.0 percent in October-December.

The government raised its assessment of machinery orders, saying they were showing a moderate pickup. Previously, it had said that they were weakening as a trend.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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