The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to contract, and at a faster pace, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed on Tuesday with a preliminary manufacturing PMI score of 44.8.
That’s down from 47.8 in February, and it moves further beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
The services PMI from Jibun Bank was even more troubling as it plummeted all the way down to 32.7 in March from 46.8 in February – largely reflecting the chaos wrought by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
That dragged the composite PMI down to 35.8 from 47.0 a month earlier.
Among the individual components, output, new orders, new export orders, backlogs, stocks of purchases and quantities of purchases all saw stronger rates of decline. Employment fell into contraction after expanding in the previous month.