Japan Manufacturing PMI Downturn Accelerates; Output and New Orders Suffer Sharpest Contractions for 20 Months; Cheaper Yen Cannot Save Japan
Output and new orders register sharpest contractions for 20 months
Employment, purchasing and stocks all continue to be cut
Output charges lowered further as input prices remain unchanged
Latest data from Markit/JMMA indicated that the performance of the Japanese manufacturing sector continued to deteriorate in December. Output, new orders and employment all fell compared to one month ago while margins remained under pressure as output charges declined amid ongoing price competition.
After adjusting for seasonal factors, the headline Markit/JMMA Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) registered a level of 45.0 in December. Down from 46.5, the PMI subsequently posted a 44-month low.
Output continued to decline markedly, with the sharpest contraction again seen in the capital goods producing sector. Total manufacturing production has now fallen for seven months in a row, with the latest reduction the sharpest seen since April 2011.
Falling volumes of incoming new business was the primary factor driving manufacturing output lower in December. As was the case with output, the fall in new order volumes was the steepest since April 2011, although the rate of decline was considerably sharper than seen for production.
New export order volumes also continued to fall in December, with companies reporting that demand from Chinese and European markets remained sluggish. The fall in orders from abroad was the steepest since July, with investment goods producers recording the steepest reduction.