Japan's core machinery orders rose 5.5 percent in March from the previous month, Cabinet Office data showed on Thursday, but companies forecast a decline in investment in April-June, suggesting some are cautious about the business outlook.
The increase in March was more than a median estimate for a rise of 0.5 percent, according to a Reuters poll. In February, core orders fell 9.2 percent.
Companies surveyed by the Cabinet Office forecast that core orders, which exclude those of ships and electric power utilities, would fall 3.5 percent in the April-June quarter.
In January-March, core orders rose 6.7 percent from the previous three months.
Compared with a year earlier, core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, rose 3.2 percent in March, more than a median estimate for a 0.8 percent increase.