03/12/18: The Japan Machine Tool Builders Association reported today that new orders for machine tools from the country’s manufacturing companies slowed substantially during February, with those orders increasing by 39.5%, as compared to the same month a year ago, following a 48.8% year-over-year rate of increase during January. That’s the slowest rate of increase in orders for machine tools, which tend to serve as a reliable leading economic indicator, since August 2017.

Japan Machine Tool Orders (02-18)

With the readings on several other leading economic indicators for Japan weakening over the past couple of months, we at Frazier and Mayer Research, LLC, the providers of Investors Monitor, expect Japan’s pace of economic growth to slow and for the country’s stock prices to trend lower over the next few months.