Japan Real Time Charts and Data

Edward Hugh is only able to update this blog from time to time, but he does run a lively Twitter account with plenty of Japan related comment. He also maintains a collection of constantly updated Japan data charts with short updates on a Storify dedicated page Is Japan Once More Back in Deflation?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Japan Machine Orders Fall For A Third Consecutive Month

Well, while most of the attention out there is justifiably focused on the dramatic events of recent days in the financial markets, the real economy is where the impact of what is happening all ends up, and news on this from in Japan continues to be pretty bleak.

Today we learnt that a key barometer of corporate capital spending in Japan plunged in August to its lowest level in more than five years, as business investment retreated sharply amid fears of a broader global slowdown.

Core private sector machinery orders, which exclude often-volatile orders from electric power firms and shipbuilders, fell 14.5 percent from the previous month to 891.7 billion yen ($8.9 billion) — the lowest value since April 2003.

The result marked the third straight month of declines and was far worse than the 3.3 percent drop forecast by Kyodo news agency.

The figures, considered an important gauge of business investment in the future, add to concerns that the sluggish exports performance in recent months is plunging the world's second-largest economy back into what looks to be a pretty nasty recession.