Thursday, 9 April 2009

Japanese machinery orders rise, German manufacturing orders fall

Japanese exports fell 50.4 percent in February, but there are already signs that things may be looking less bleak for the economy. From Bloomberg today:

Japanese machinery orders unexpectedly rose for the first time in five months in February, adding to signs that the recession may be easing.

Bookings, an indicator of capital investment in the next three to six months, climbed 1.4 percent from January, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. The median estimate of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 6.9 percent drop.

Yesterday, another report from the Cabinet Office had also shown some improvement in the economic outlook. Again from Bloomberg:

Confidence among Japanese merchants rose to an eight-month high in March, adding to signs that a slump in the world’s second-largest economy is abating.

The Economy Watchers index, a survey of barbers, taxi drivers and others who deal with consumers, climbed to 28.4 last month from 19.4 in February, the second-biggest jump on record, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo...

Merchants said they expect conditions to keep improving, with the outlook index of sentiment rising to 35.8...

Factories in Germany, however, saw a worse-than-expected fall in orders in February. From Bloomberg yesterday:

Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, fell 3.5 percent from January, the sixth consecutive drop, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said today. Economists expected a 2.1 percent decline, the median of 30 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey showed. From a year earlier, orders plunged a record 38.2 percent.

German exports have also been falling.

German exports dropped 0.7 percent in February, the fifth decline in as many months, the Federal Statistics Office said today. Imports fell 4.2 percent in February from the previous month.

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