SINGAPORE (ICIS)--au Jibun Bank’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for Japan rose to 51.4 in February from 49.8 in January, indicating the strongest improvement in the health of the sector since December 2018, the Japanese bank said on Monday.
Production volumes increased for the first time since December 2018, and at the fastest pace since the same period, while new orders expanded for the second successive month, it said in a statement.
The pace of growth in new orders quickened from January and was the quickest since October 2018.
"New export sales increased for the first time in four months in February, as demand improved in key external markets, particularly in China," the bank said.
Despite rises in both production and new orders, buying activity fell for the twenty-sixth month in succession but the decline was only fractional, au Jibun Bank said.
"Manufacturers in Japan noted ongoing difficulties in sourcing raw materials due to global COVID-19 restrictions, which led to a further deterioration in delivery times," it added.