RTTNews - Japan's core machinery orders were down 5.4 percent on month in April, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday, falling to 688.8 billion yen for to a 22-year low.
That was far worse than analyst expectations for a 0.4 percent monthly increase following the 1.3 percent decline in March and the 0.6 percent gain in February.
On an annual basis, core machinery orders plummeted 32.8 percent - also worse than the forecast for a 29.5 percent decline after the 22.2 contraction in the previous month.
The Japanese government in March had raised its view on machinery orders, saying that the rate of decline is easing. In February, the Cabinet Office raised its assessment of machinery orders for the first time since May 2007, saying that they were rising slightly but still on a downward trend. It had previously said that orders were declining sharply.
Core orders exclude orders from electrical power companies and orders for ships, and are considered a barometer of future industrial capital investment.
Also on Wednesday, the Bank of Japan said that the price of domestic corporate goods in Japan eased 0.4 percent in May compared to the previous month, falling for the third straight month to an index score of 103.0.
That was roughly in line with the 0.3 percent monthly decline that analyst had been expecting following the revised 0.6 percent decline in April and the 0.2 percent contraction in March.
On an annual basis, corporate goods prices plummeted 5.4 percent on year, marking the largest annual decline since March 1987, the bank said. Analysts had expected CGPI to fall 5.1 percent after the revised 4 percent decline in the previous month - which had originally been reported as -3.8 percent.
Exports were down 1.6 percent on month and 11.6 percent on year, coming in at 89.6. Imports were down 2.2 percent on month and 28.5 percent on year for a score of 99.5.
Following the release of Japan's domestic corporate goods price index for May and machine orders data for April, the Japanese yen edged slightly higher against its major rivals. As of 7:50 pm ET, the yen was worth 90.33 against the Swiss Franc, 158.87 versus the pound, 97.46 against the greenback and 136.98 against the euro.
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