Asia Economy

Japan machinery orders rise 4.7% in August

Japan August machinery orders beat expectations

Japan's core machinery orders, a leading indicator of capital spending, rose for the third straight month in August.

Core machinery orders rose 4.7 percent on month in August, above expectations for a 0.9 percent increase in a Reuters poll and faster than July's 3.5 percent increase.

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"It's good to see some of these Japanese numbers coming in better than expected. If you look at what they've done to their monetary policy, its three times the size of what we have in the u.S. Hopefully it's going to work," said Mark Okada, co-founder & CIO at Highland Capital Management.

"We want to see fiscal policy matching monetary policy... perhaps Japan gets to see that with the third arrow thing... but certainly I think long-term, it takes a long time for monetary policy to translate into job growth, wage pressure. these sort of things are what we're experiencing in the U.S.," he said.

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The government raised its assessment of machinery orders pointing to signs of a moderate pick-up.

The figures came after Japan revised its second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) reading lower last month. The revised figure showed the economy contracted an annualized 7.1 percent, worse than an initial reading of 6.8 percent, marking the biggest contraction since the first quarter of 2009 as a hike in the consumption tax dragged economic growth.

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Japan raised its sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent in April, in bid to reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio which currently stands above 240 percent. The move has been criticized to be counter-intuitive to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's big push to revive the economy.

The last time Japan raised consumption tax in 1997, the economy fell into recession shortly after.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index opened 0.6 percent higher shortly after the data was released.