9 August 2001, 10:43  Japan cuts machinery orders assessment to declining trend

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - The Cabinet Office said it downgraded its assessment of private sector machinery orders to a declining trend, the first cut in three months. Previously, the Cabinet Office said the machinery orders trend was weak. It added that it expects negative machinery order growth in the third quarter to September. "We expect capex to decline from the third quarter and it will continue until next March," an official said. The Cabinet Office said it is particularly concerned about the weak outlook for orders in the non-manufacturing sector, which had been moving firmly. Non-manufacturing capex is seen falling 6.0 pct in the third quarter, compared with a rise of 5.7 pct in the second. "Capex in non-manufacturing has been firm, helped by IT-related expenditure, but we currently see a decline in the third quarter," the official said. "It is necessary to view the outlook very cautiously." The official added: "It is possible that capex will move very negatively during the current fiscal year. It seems that from the third quarter some decline in capex will show through."

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