Japan PMI manufacturing rose to 49.5 in April, up from 49.2 and beat expectation of 49.4. Nevertheless, it’s still the third straight month of sub-50 reading. Markit pointed out that weaker demand from domestic and international markets persists, leading output to fall further. But manufacturing employment remains resilient.

Commenting on the Japanese Manufacturing PMI survey data, Joe Hayes, Economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said:

“Japan’s manufacturing sector remained stuck in its rut at the start of Q2, with the factors which have prohibited any growth such as US-Sino relations, growth fears in China and the turn in the global trade cycle, all remaining prominent risks. Export orders dipped at a stronger rate in April, domestic demand for goods was similarly weak and firms cut their stocks and scaled back production. Yet again, the service sector will need to pick up any slack to help keep Japan’s economy afloat.”

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