Activity at factories in Japan increased in March

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The pace has increased with the prospect of a global economic recovery and countries initiating Covid-19 vaccinations.

An expansion of factory activity in Japan picked up pace in March, a private sector survey on Wednesday (24) showed, aided by the prospect of a global economic recovery as a growing number of countries start immunizations against Covid-19.

However, the services sector continued to struggle, with companies suffering from the coronavirus hit even after the government lifted the state of emergency in the Tokyo region.

The au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers (PMI) index increased from 51.4 in February to 52.2 in March seasonally adjusted.

This means that manufacturing activity was above the 50.0 threshold that separates contraction and expansion for the second month in a row.

The PMI survey showed that activity was aided by rising production and new orders. Future orders, which show business growth expectations for the year ahead, also remained strongly positive.

"Positive feelings stemmed from the expectation that both suspensions from the state of emergency and broader restrictions, as vaccinations begin, would cause a recovery in demand in both the domestic and overseas markets," said Usamath Bhatti, economist at IHS Markit, who compiles the survey.

Despite expanding production and orders, manufacturers were hesitant to hire more workers, reporting the third straight month of job cuts.

Source: Nippon

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