TOKYO--Japanese core machinery orders rose 8.8% in June from May, the government said Thursday, suggesting business investment is recovering after taking a hit following an April sales-tax increase took effect.

The rise was smaller than expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, who estimated on average that core orders increased 16.2% from the previous month.

Unadjusted core orders also fell 3.0% from the year-earlier month.

For the July to September period, the Cabinet Office said orders are expected to rise 2.9% from the previous quarter.

Machinery orders are widely regarded as a leading indicator of corporate capital investment. Core orders exclude those from electric power companies and those for ships, which are often a source of volatility in the overall data due to their large sizes.

Write to Alexander Martin at alexander.martin@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 13, 2014 21:15 ET (01:15 GMT)

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