Japan’s factory activity extends declines for third straight month

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese manufacturing activity contracted for the third month in a row in January as exports remained weak amid a worsening global outlook, a business survey showed on Tuesday. rice field.

The au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for January stood at 48.9 seasonally adjusted, unchanged from the previous month’s close.

Weak factory activity has sapped policymakers’ hopes that key wage negotiations in the coming months will help offset the pressure on consumers from the highest inflation in 41 years and sustain a fragile post-pandemic recovery. cloud it.

The index has fallen below the 50 line that separates contraction and expansion for the third straight month after December’s close marked its fastest decline in 26 months.

Factory output and new orders fell for the seventh straight month, but at a slower pace than last month, according to the subindex data.

A Reuters Tankan survey last week showed that business sentiment among large Japanese companies turned negative for the first time in two years amid worsening overseas conditions and rising living costs.

In contrast, service sector activity posted its fifth consecutive month of growth, thanks to a tourism boom and easing of COVID-19 controls.

The au Jibun Bank flash service PMI for January was 52.4 on a seasonally adjusted basis, hitting a three-month high from 51.1 in the previous month.

“The gap between manufacturing and services continues, similar to the trend recorded for much of the last six months,” said S&P Global Market Intelligence economist Laura Denman, who compiled the survey.

However, service providers were less optimistic about the outlook, with the business sentiment sub-index hitting its lowest point in 24 months. While input prices rose at a faster pace than in the past two months, output price inflation was the slowest in his five months, squeezing profitability.

Overall, the au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Composite PMI rose to 50.8 in January, up from 49.7 last month and above the break-even 50 line for the first time in three months.

(Interviewed by Kantaro Komiya, Edited by Sam Holmes)

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