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     TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's core machinery orders, excluding those for power
generation equipment and ships, fell sharply in December, dragged lower by the
slump in the non-manufacturing sector, according to data from the Cabinet Office
released on Wednesday. 
     -- Core orders decreased 12.5% m/m in December, sharply down from the
previous 18.0% m/m gain. 
     -- Orders from non-manufacturing sectors dropped 21.3% m/m, plunging from
the 27.8% m/m increase reported last month. Orders from manufacturing sectors
edged up for the third month by 4.3% m/m, up from the previous 0.6% m/m growth. 
     -- The outlook for the January-March period is for a 5.2% fall, faster than
the 2.1% decrease seen in the previous quarter.
     --The three-month moving average of core orders fell -1.0% in December,
following a 2.7% increase recorded in November.
     --The Cabinet Office maintained its outlook assessment on the machinery
orders, saying the recovery was "marking time".
--MNI Beijing Bureau; tel: +86 (10) 8532-5998; email:
--MNI Sydney Bureau; +61 405322399; email:

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