If you needed another reason to buy stocks, trust in the growth meme, and have your faith in Abenomics confirmed… look away. Japanese Machine orders for December just printed -15.7% in December – the biggest MoM plunge since 1992. This is the biggest miss to expectations since 2006 and what is considerably more problematic for Abe et al. is that YoY expectations of a core machine order rise of 17.4% was hopelessly missed with a small 6.7% gain (and this is data that excludes more volatile orders).
As Bloomberg notes, core machine orders are an indicator of future capital expenditure and it seems, just as in the US, that thanks to “stocks” now being considered central bank policy tools that capex no longer means productive capital use… it means buybacks, dividends, and shareholder recaps in any which way we can.