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Machinery Order Rise 16 Percent; Confirms ‘Mild’ Rising Trend, Agency Says

July 9, 1996

TOKYO (AP) _ In a fresh sign of an economic recovery, the government reported Tuesday that orders to Japanese machinery manufacturers rose 16 percent in May from a year earlier, reaching nearly 2.33 trillion yen, or about $21 billion.

An even stronger 19 percent rise was reported in the core component, which excludes such volatile high-priced items as ships and equipment for electric power companies. The figures were not adjusted for seasonal factors.

An Economic Planning Agency official said the said the numbers confirm that Japan’s machinery orders are in a mild rising trend.

``We can’t yet remove the word `mild’ from that assessment,″ said the official, who by custom briefed reporters on condition he not be named.

He said quarterly trends suggest the increases in machinery orders are smaller than they were during previous economic recoveries.

But he still said it is likely that orders will exceed the official forecast of a 4.9 percent rise in the April-June quarter from the prior quarter.

Machinery orders are widely regarded as a leading indicator of corporate capital investment.

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