The total value of core machine orders in Japan climbed a seasonally adjusted 2.9 percent on month in January, the Cabinet Office said on Monday - coming in at 839.4 billion yen.
That exceeded expectations for a decline of 1.0 percent following the upwardly revised 11.9 percent decline in December (originally -12.5 percent).
On a yearly basis, core machine orders eased 0.3 percent - again beating forecasts for a drop of 1.1 percent following the 3.5 percent decline in the previous month.
Core machine orders for the first quarter of 2020 are expected to fall 2.0 percent on quarter and 0.6 percent on year to 2,518.8 billion yen.
Manufacturing orders were up 4.6 percent on month and 0.1 percent on year to 380.3 billion yen, while non-manufacturing orders fell 1.7 percent on month and 0.6 percent on year to 460.7 billion yen.
Government orders skyrocketed 87.8 percent on month and 59.5 percent on year to 392.7 billion yen, while overseas orders gained 9.1 percent on month and 3.2 percent on year to 867.1 billion yen.
Orders through agencies rose 8.1 percent on month but fell 4.5 percent on year to 123.0 billion yen.
The total value of machinery orders received by 280 manufacturers operating in Japan increased by 11.5 percent on month and 3.8 percent on year.