The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in March, and at a faster pace, the latest survey from Jibun Bank showed on Friday with a manufacturing PMI score of 54.1.
That’s up from 52.7 in February and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
The improvement partly stemmed from a renewed rise in production volumes in March. Firms often attributed this to greater new orders, although growth was slightly held back by reports of higher raw material prices. Output volumes have now increased in five of the last six months.
Japanese goods producers also signaled a further expansion in new order inflows in March, the sixth in as many months. The rate of growth quickened from February as firms reported domestic sales in particular were boosted by the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. That said, stricter restrictions in key export markets, particularly China, led to a sharp reduction in export orders. The contraction was solid overall and the quickest since July 2020. Foreign sales were also hindered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.