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Economy

Machinery orders to jump as Japan seeks to meet labor shortage

July-September sees first rise in three quarters: Cabinet Office

A robot producing ice cream bars at a factory in Osaka, Japan.

TOKYO -- Japan's core private-sector machinery orders are expected to rise for the first time in three quarters, the government announced on Thursday.

Private-sector machinery orders, excluding volatile orders for ships and from electric power companies, are estimated to increase 7.0% for the July-September period on the previous quarter, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The Cabinet Office foresees nonmanufacturers boosting investment to meet staff shortages. In the July-September quarter, machinery orders from the sector are expected to jump 14.6% from the previous quarter. "Labor-saving investment, such as sorting systems at warehouses, is increasing," said an official of the Cabinet Office's Economic and Social Research Institute.

Machinery orders remain solid in the manufacturing sector, buoyed by a strong global economy, despite an expected decline of 1.8% on the strong numbers posted in the April-June quarter.

Railway car orders also grew.

Between April and June, private-sector machinery orders, excluding for ships and electric power, dropped 4.7% from the previous quarter. Orders from the nonmanufacturing sector declined 8.5%, as systems investment by financial institutions and investment in construction machinery concentrated in the January-March period.

Machinery orders from manufacturing sector have remained solid since the start of the fiscal year, rising 3.7% in the April-June quarter, compared with an estimated 1.1% decline in March.

(Nikkei)

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