Japan: Manufacturing and services PMIs diverge in February
The Jibun Bank Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—which combines the PMIs of the services and manufacturing sectors—rose to 47.6 in February according to a flash reading, up slightly from January’s final figure of 47.1. As such, the reading remained below the 50-threshold, and therefore indicated the 13th consecutive month of worsening operating conditions.
The services PMI dropped to 45.8 in February from 46.1 in January, with new business deteriorating at the fastest pace in nine months. On the manufacturing side, the PMI rose to 50.6 in February from January’s 49.8 reading, thus marking the highest print since December 2018 as output and new orders expanded and sentiment improved among Japanese manufacturers.
Commenting on the uptick in manufacturing sentiment, Usamah Bhatti, an economist at IHS Markit, reflected:
“Businesses were optimistic that business conditions would improve in the coming 12 months. Positive sentiment stemmed from hopes that an end to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic would induce a recovery in domestic and foreign demand. Nonetheless, disruption caused by the pandemic is likely to remain in the immediate future.”