© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Engineers work inside a metal processing factory at an industrial zone in downtown Tokyo, Japan, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan March core machinery orders fell in March for a second straight month, indicating firms’ cautious about capital spending amid worries about the global economic slowdown.

Japan’s economy emerged from recession in the first quarter as a post-COVID consumption rebound offset global headwinds. But tame reading in the machinery orders may cast doubts about the pace of the economic recovery.

Core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as a barometer of capital expenditure in the coming six to nine months, declined 3.9% in March from the previous month, Cabinet Office data showed on Monday.

That was weaker than the median forecast of a 0.7% advance by economists in a Reuters poll.

Compared with a year earlier, core orders, which exclude volatile numbers from shipping and electric utilities, fell 3.5% in March, according to the data. That was also weaker than a 1.4 percent gain of forecast.

Manufacturers surveyed by the Cabinet Office are expecting core orders to rise 4.6% in April-June, after a 2.6% growth in the previous quarter.

The government kept its view on machinery orders, saying they are “stalling”.

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