TOKYO, March 3 (Reuters) - Japanese companies raised spending on plant and equipment by 4.0 percent in October-December from a year earlier, Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday, posting a second year-on-year gain and indicating a gradual pickup in business expenditures on the back of improved earnings.
The rise followed a 1.5 percent increase in the previous quarter, the data showed.
Excluding software, corporate capital spending declined 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in the final three months of 2013 from the previous quarter, down for a second straight quarter.
The data will be used to calculate revised gross domestic product figures due on March 10. A preliminary estimate showed that Japan’s economy grew a weaker-than-expected 0.3 percent in October-December from the previous quarter due to sluggish exports and disappointing capital spending and private consumption.