Bloomberg reports some good news for the Japanese economy today in the form of higher machinery orders.
Orders for Japanese machinery rose more than economists estimated in September, signaling that a recovery in corporate profits may be encouraging firms to start spending on plant and equipment.
Orders, an indicator of business investment in three to six months, climbed 10.5 percent from a month earlier, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. The median estimate of 25 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 4.1 percent gain.
Yesterday, Japan reported an unexpected widening of its current account surplus in September.
The surplus rose 0.2 percent to 1.57 trillion yen ($17.5 billion) from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said in Tokyo today. The median estimate of 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for the gap to narrow to 1.51 trillion yen...
Exports slid 32.1 percent in September from a year earlier, less than August’s 37.1 percent drop. Imports fell 37.7 percent, compared with a 42.8 percent decline a month earlier...
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the current-account surplus widened to 1.34 trillion yen in September. Exports rose 2.5 percent from August, and imports climbed 5.9 percent.
However, yesterday's economy watchers survey data showed that the Japanese economic recovery may be slowing.
Confidence among Japanese merchants slid to a five-month low in October, a sign that the country’s export-led recovery isn’t spreading to consumers.
The Economy Watchers index, a survey of barbers, taxi drivers and others who deal with consumers, fell to 40.9, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. It was the biggest decline in 10 months.