Japan November manufacturing PMI grows at fastest pace in 20 months

TOKYO: Japanese manufacturing activity expanded at its fastest pace in 20 months in November as output and new export orders picked up, final figures from a survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting the economy is starting to turnaround from a recession. The Markit/Nikkei Japan Final Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was a seasonally adjusted 52.6 in November, a touch below the flash reading of 52.8 but still higher than a final 52.4 in the previous month. The index remained above the 50 threshold that separates expansion from contraction for the seventh straight month. November’s figure was the highest since March 2014. The PMI suggests Japan’s gross domestic product has resumed growing after falling into a technical recession in July-September. Separate data on Monday showed industrial production rose for a second month in October in another sign the economy is on the mend. The final index for output was 53.9, which was unchanged from the flash reading and showed the fastest gain since March 2014. The PMI for new export orders in November was 53.2, also unchanged from the flash index for the fastest increase since June. The positive PMI results should offer some encouragement to the Bank of Japan, which has been hard pressed to convince markets that the latest recession is only a temporary setback in its quest to get the economy out of decades of stagnation.

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