The value of core machine orders in Japan rose a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent on month in November, the Cabinet Office said on Thursday - standing at 854.8 billion yen.
That beat forecasts for a decline of 6.2 percent following the 17.1 percent spike in October.
On a yearly basis, core machine orders were down 11.3 percent - but that also beat forecasts for a fall of 15.4 percent following the 2.8 percent gain in the previous month.
Government orders rose 0.4 percent on month and fell 2.1 percent on year to 249.3 billion yen, while orders from overseas gained 5.9 percent on month and 25.4 percent on year to 978.5 billion yen and orders through agencies sank 6.6 percent on month and 12.2 percent on year to 102.4 billion yen.
The overall value of machine orders in Japan, including volatile ones for ships and utilities, fell 1/5 percent on month and 0.2 percent on year to 2,266.3 billion yen.
The forecast for core machine orders in the fourth quarter of 2020 suggests a decline of 1.9 percent on quarter and 13.2 percent on year.
Also on Thursday, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices fell 2.0 percent on year in December - beating expectations for a decline of 2.2 percent, which would have been unchanged from the November reading.
On a monthly basis, producer prices added 0.5 percent - again exceeding expectations for an increase of 0.2 percent following the flat reading a month earlier.
Export prices were up 0.8 percent on month and down 1.3 percent on year on a yen basis, the bank said, while import prices rose 1.9 percent on month and fell 9.8 percent on year.