Japan posts slowest factory activity expansion in five months
A private sector survey on Monday showed Japan’s factory activity expanded at the slowest pace in five months in July, a development that threatens to stall the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to a seasonally adjusted 52.2 in July from a final 52.4 last month, indicating a slower but steady improvement in operating conditions.
Economist Usamah Bhatti of IHS Markit said output and new orders growth slipped to six-month lows after a surge in COVID-19 cases and delays in raw material procurement.
The services sector continued to struggle, with activity declining at its highest rate in five months and for the 18th month in a row. This reflected a faster decline of overall private sector activity compared with last month.