Japan’s manufacturing sector posted its eighth consecutive month of growth in April as output, new orders and employment rose in the world’s third largest economy, fresh survey data has indicated. The closely-watched Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which is seen as a single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance and is based on data from purchasing executives in around 400 industrial companies, posted a reading of 52.7 in April, up from 52.4 in March and at a level among the best seen in the past three years. Readings above 50 signal expansion while those below imply contraction.
Production rose for the ninth consecutive month, with the rate of expansion having accelerated from March, according to IHS Markit’s analysis. Foreign demand was a source of overall growth, with new export orders increasing to a greater degree amid reports of higher sales to markets across South East Asia.