Japanese machinery orders, a leading indicator of capital expenditure, have grown at the fastest rate since 1996, surging 19.1% on month in March after slumping 4.6% in February and slaying expectations for a rise of 6%.
On year, bookings +16.1% vs +10.8% and consensus of +4.2%.
While the jump in orders came before a hike in sales tax on April 1, companies expect bookings to grow 0.4% on quarter in Q2 for the fifth consecutive gain.
"The recovery in business investment remains on track," says economist Marcel Thieliant. "The rising level of capacity usage also suggests that companies will continue to invest in machinery and equipment, despite the likely plunge in aggregate demand this quarter after the consumption tax hike."
Despite the blow-out data, the Nikkei ends -0.6%, while the USD-JPY is -0.2% at ¥101.36. (PR)