Japan: Composite PMI dips in December; remains in expansionary territory
The Jibun Bank Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—which combines the PMIs of the services and manufacturing sectors—fell to 51.8 in December according to a flash reading, down from November’s final figure of 53.3. As such, the reading remained above the 50-threshold, indicating the third consecutive month of improvement in operating conditions, albeit at a slower rate than in November.
Concurrently, the services PMI dropped to 51.1 in December from 53.0 in November, on the back of a softer rise in demand and falling staffing levels. On the manufacturing side, the PMI decreased slightly to 54.2 in December from 54.5 in the prior month. The reading reflected milder increases in new orders and output, but still marked the eleventh consecutive month of improving conditions.
Commenting on the reading, Annabel Fiddes, economist at IHS Markit, reflected:
“The latest Flash PMI data showed that the Japanese private sector recovery was sustained in December, rounding off the best quarterly performance since Q4 2018. However, both manufacturers and services companies signalled softer rates of output and new order growth compared to November, to suggest a softening of momentum.”