Japan: Manufacturing PMI inches up in April
The Nikkei flash manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged up to 53.3 in April from March’s revised 53.1 (previously recorded: 53.2). The index remained comfortably above the 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector.
April’s slight increase came on the back of stronger growth in output, new orders, and employment. Stronger activity prompted businesses to accelerate purchasing activity. As a result of the uptick in new orders, backlogs of work increased at a faster pace, and suppliers’ delivery times lengthened. On the downside, foreign orders decreased for the first time in over a year and a half. In terms of prices, input price inflation increased at a softer pace, but suppliers passed the costs on to consumers through higher output prices, which increased at a faster clip in April.
Reflecting on manufacturing operating conditions in April, Joe Hayes, Economist at IHS Markit, said: “Although new export orders declined for the first time since August 2016, as the stronger yen begins to impact price competitiveness, the rise in total new business inflows signals stronger domestic demand.”