The manufacturing sector in Japan was barely in expansion in March, the latest survey from Markit Economics revealed on Tuesday.
In another sign that the Japanese economy is limping its way out of last year’s recession, the March PMI hit a score of 50.4, down from 51.6 in February.
While the index remained above the 50 threshold for the 10th consecutive month, it dropped to its lowest since expansion of the manufacturing activity started in June 2014.
New orders also contracted for the first time in 10 months after falling to a preliminary 49.5 in March from 51.0 in February.
Index for new exports continued to expand, registering a preliminary 52.2, but at a slower pace than in the previous month, which registered a final reading of 53.7.
The final Markit / JMMA PMI for March will be released on 1 April.
[Photo credit: “Skyscrapers of Shinjuku 2009 January (revised)” by Morio – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. ]