Japan: Private sector activity falls at fastest pace in nearly a decade in March
March 24, 2020
The Jibun Bank composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slumped to 35.8 in March from 47.0 in February, according to a flash reading, suggesting private sector activity declined from the previous month at the fastest pace in nearly a decade.
The services PMI led the decline, falling to 32.7 in March from a revised 46.8 in February (previously reported: 46.7), marking the lowest reading since contemporary records began in September 2007. The spread of coronavirus caused new business orders in the services sector to cease up, and led to headcounts being cut at the fastest pace in over four years. The manufacturing PMI dropped to 44.8 in March from a revised 47.8 in February (previously reported: 47.6) as production fell at the fastest pace since 2011, when Japan was devasted by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Author: Edward Gardner, Economist