Latest COVID-19 surge weakens Japan’s factory activity
Japan marked a slow growth in its factory activity in August, while the services sector declined at the fastest rate since May last year, reflecting the COVID-19’s blow to the economy.
The au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to a seasonally adjusted 52.4 in August after touching a final 53.0 in the preceding month.
The au Jibun Bank Flash Services PMI index shrank to a seasonally adjusted 43.5 from last month’s final of 47.4. The latest figure was the lowest since May 2020.
Meanwhile, the au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Composite PMI, calculated using both manufacturing and services slid, to 45.9 from July’s final of 48.8.
Overall orders and export orders grew at the slowest pace in seven months, with firms grappling with supply chain disruptions due to a global semiconductor shortage.
Activity in the overall private sector declined as a result of the poor reading this month, according to economist Usamah Bhatti of IHS Markit.