Japan: Manufacturing PMI declines in March but remains in expansionary territory
The Nikkei flash manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined to 53.2 in March from February’s revised 54.1 (previously recorded: 54.0). Therefore, the index remains comfortably above the 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector.
March’s overall moderation resulted from weaker growth in output, new orders and employment. Suppliers also became slower to execute the delivery of orders. Meanwhile, stocks of finished goods decreased in March.
Reflecting on manufacturing operating conditions in March, particularly regarding price developments, Joe Hayes, Economist at IHS Markit, said: “With new business increasing for an eighteenth straight month, firms raised output prices to a quicker extent, signaling confidence in the demand climate and purchasing power of their clients. Despite two months of weaker headline PMI readings, the 2018 Q1 average still signals a robust operating environment.”