Japan – Jibun Bank/Markit PMIs (final) for April: Services 49.5 (prior 48.3) and Composite 51.0 (49.9)

Services still in contraction but an improvement from March 

Markit’s key points:

  • Output and new orders fall only fractionally 
  • Fastest rate of job creation since May 2019 
  • Business optimism remains strong

And, analyst comments from the report:

  • activity falling at the softest pace since January 2020
  • The loosening of COVID-19 restrictions at the end of March also led to a broad stabilisation in incoming business 
  • tentative signs of improving demand conditions
  • “Confidence about the outlook for private sector activity remained strong in April, although the risks are inherently skewed to the downside. A renewed spike in COVID-19 infections has led to the reintroduction of state of emergency restrictions in several prefectures, including Tokyo.”

Yes, with reentry to restrictions in economically crucial prefectures the path ahead still looks rocky for Japan’s economy. The 2020 Olympics, which are now the 2021 Olympics, are still expected to go ahead, so that’s a positive. 

Yen remains little changed on the data, circa 109.04

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