Japanese machinery orders fell for a second month in March as a global slowdown and waning profits dissuaded companies from investing in factories and equipment.
Equipment orders -- which signal capital spending in the next three to six months -- declined 8.3% from February, when they fell 12.7%, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. The median estimate of 33 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 5.1% drop.
Toyota Motor Corp. last week said it would cut plant and equipment spending as falling U.S. sales, higher commodity prices and a stronger yen erode earnings.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expects annual profit at Japanese companies to fall for the first time in seven years.
The central bank's Tankan survey of business confidence last month showed that Toyota wasn't alone in trimming spending. Large companies said they planned to cut capital investment by 1.6% this fiscal year, the worst projection since the economy emerged from a recession in 2002.