|Manufacturing - Level||49.9||50.3|
April final manufacturing PMI slipped the below the breakeven 50 level with a reading of 49.9. The data indicated worsening operating conditions in the Japanese manufacturing sector. Manufacturing production contracted for the first time since July 2014 in April. This was underpinned by a further decline in new orders, with the rate of decline the fastest since when the higher sales tax increase was implemented in April last year. Panelists reported a fall in demand from both domestic and international clients and challenging economic conditions as the main factors behind the decline in new work.
Production contracted for the first time since July 2014, underpinned by a further decline in new orders. Meanwhile, growth in new export orders slowed to the weakest in the current 10-month sequence of expansion. On the price front, input price inflation eased to the slowest in over two years.
At 49.9 in April, the headline PMI signaled a fractional deterioration in operating conditions in the Japanese manufacturing sector for the first time in almost a year. Furthermore, the headline PMI has only posted below the 50.0 no-change mark three times in the past two years.
The Markit/JMMA Japan Manufacturing PMI is a composite index based on five of the individual indexes: New Orders, Output, Employment, Suppliers' Delivery Times and Stock of Items Purchased. The Delivery Times Index is inverted so that it moves in a comparable direction.
Investors need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the economy because it dictates how various types of investments will perform. By tracking economic data such as the purchasing managers' manufacturing indexes, investors will know what the economic backdrop is for the various markets. The stock market likes to see healthy economic growth because that translates to higher corporate profits. The bond market prefers less rapid growth and is extremely sensitive to whether the economy is growing too quickly and causing potential inflationary pressures.
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