By Kaori Kaneko
TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s machinery orders unexpectedly fell in September in a sign the global economic slowdown and higher import costs are weighing on firms’ capital spending plans.
Core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as a barometer of capital expenditure in the coming six to nine months, fell 4.6% in September from the previous month, Cabinet Office data showed.
That followed a 5.8% drop in August and was weaker than the median forecast of a 0.7% gain by economists in a Reuters poll.
Compared with a year earlier, core orders, which exclude volatile numbers from shipping and electric utilities, grew 2.9% in September, the data found.
By sector, orders from manufacturers slumped 8.5% in September from the previous month, dragged down by non-ferrous metals, while orders from the non-manufacturers grew 4.4%, according to the data.
Manufacturers surveyed by the Cabinet Office are expecting core orders to rise 3.6% in October-December, after a 1.6% drop in the previous quarter.
The government downgraded its view on machinery orders saying the recovery is stalling.
The machinery orders data comes a day after figures showed Japan’s economy unexpectedly shrank in the third quarter.
To ease the economic blow from rising raw material costs, the government last month compiled stimulus package with 29 trillion yen ($208.66 billion) in extra spending in the budget.
For the full table, go to the website of the Cabinet Office:
($1 = 138.9800 yen)
(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Sam Holmes)