Japan March core machinery orders fall 3.9 pct mth/mth

TOKYO, May 17 (Reuters) - Japan's core machinery orders fell 3.9 percent in March from the previous month, down for the first time in three months, Cabinet Office data showed on Thursday. The fall in core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, compared with a 3.0 percent decline expected by economists in a Reuters poll. Compared with a year earlier, core orders, which exclude those for ships and from electric power utilities, declined 2.4 percent in March. Manufacturers surveyed by the Cabinet Office forecast core orders would rise 7.1 percent in April-June, after climbing 3.3 percent in the previous quarter. For more background, please see this PREVIEW To view full table, go to the website of the Cabinet Office: http://www.esri.cao.go.jp/en/stat/juchu/1803juchu-e.html

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)