Japan: Composite PMI improves in April
The S&P Global Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 50.9 in April, up from March’s 50.3. As a result, the index moved further above the 50.0 no-change threshold, signaling a faster improvement in business conditions compared to the previous month.
The improvement was due to a rebound in services activity, with the Services PMI rising above the 50.0 threshold for the first time since December 2021 to 50.5 in April (March: 49.4). The services sector registered a rebound in export orders and stronger growth of employment. Despite this, the improvement in services activity was only marginal and growth of manufacturing output eased, with the Manufacturing PMI coming in at 53.4 in April, down from March’s 54.1, which dragged down the final Composite PMI print.
Usamah Bhatti, economist at S&P Global, noted the effect of rising cost pressures:
“Cost pressures were sustained and remained more acute at manufacturers, though the rate of input cost inflation at service providers accelerated to the highest since August 2008 on the month and pushed composite input cost inflation up for the third month running. Concurrently, firms passed these price rises to clients through the steepest rise in output charges for eight years.”
While Bhatti also commented on manufacturers’ faltering confidence:
“Business confidence eased to an eight-month low amid increased headwinds as concerns over the impact the war in Ukraine and strict China lockdown measures would have on supply chains, costs and demand – especially at manufacturing firms where positive sentiment was the weakest since June 2020.”