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--Japan Apr Core Machine Orders +10.1% M/M; MNI Median +2.5%
--Japan Apr Core Machine Orders Post 1st M/M Rise in 2 Months
--Japan Apr Core Orders at Y943.1 Bln Highest Since June 2008 
--Japan Govt Upgrades View: Machine Orders Picking Up
     TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's core machinery orders, which exclude volatile orders
for power generation equipment and ships, surged 10.1% on month to a nearly
10-year high, indicating capital investment remains solid, data from the Cabinet
Office released Monday showed.
     The high level of orders as well as a rebound in orders from both the
manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors prompted the government to upgrade
its assessment of machinery orders for the first time in eight months.
     The key points from the latest machinery orders data:
     * April's core order increase was the first in two months after -3.9% in
March and higher than the MNI survey median economist forecast for a +2.5% rise
(forecast range: from -1.5% to +6.1%). It was partly supported by a large
one-off order.
     * April core orders totaling Y943.1 billion were the largest since June
     * The three-month moving average of core orders also indicates capital
investment is firm. The moving average rose 0.5% in April from the previous
three-month period, the first rise in three months.
     * Orders from the manufacturing sector jumped 22.7% in April for the first
rise in two months, rebounding sharply from -17.5% in March, while those from
the non-manufacturing sector edged up 0.4% on month for the fourth straight rise
after +2.2% in March.
     * The Cabinet Office upgraded its assessment, saying, "Machinery orders are
picking up," compared to the previous statement that they were "showing signs of
a pickup." It was the first upward revision since August 2017. The expression
"picking up" was last used in June 2015.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-4670-5309; email: