Japan factory activity shrinks for third month in January

TOKYO, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Japanese factory activity contracted for a third straight month in January, but manufacturers see improved supply and price conditions, a private survey on Wednesday showed. and still bright.

As global economic conditions deteriorate, Japanese firms face calls for higher wage hikes in spring labor talks to combat inflation and support a consumption-led recovery in the world’s third-largest economy. . read more

The au Jibun Bank Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for January was 48.9, the lowest since October 2020, unchanged from the preliminary figures and the final value of the previous month.

“The global economic downturn continues to dampen customer demand across Japan’s manufacturing sector,” said Tim Moore, economics director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, which compiled the survey.

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The data follows a weak December factory output released on Tuesday.

The S&P Survey subindex showed January output and new orders contracted for the seventh straight month, albeit at a slower pace than the previous two months.

On the bright side, supplier delays were the lowest since February 2021, suggesting an improvement in supply shortages of components such as semiconductors.Price inflation rates for inputs and outputs were the lowest in 16 months.

“The easing of the headwinds from the pandemic, combined with the expectation of sustained improvement in supplier performance, has driven a further uptick in business confidence in early 2023,” Moore said.

According to Moore, many of the manufacturers who took part in the survey are about three times as likely to expect production to increase in the next 12 months, and about three times as many to expect to contract. am.

Data showed that a sub-index that measures respondents’ future output hit a three-month high.

Reported by Kantaro Komiya. Graphics by his Kongkunakornkul in the past.Edited by Kim Coghill

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