Japan PMI manufacturing dropped to 49.6 in May, down from 50.2 and missed expectation of 50.5. The reading is also back in contraction territory. Markit noted that output and new orders decrease for fifth successive month. Businesses cast pessimistic outlook towards the coming year for the first time in six-and-a-half year.
Commenting on the Japanese Manufacturing PMI survey data, Joe Hayes, Economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said:
“Following some tentative signs that the downturn in Japan’s manufacturing sector had softened in April, flash data for May revealed these were short-lived, as output and export orders fell at stronger rates. The re-escalation of US-China trade frictions has heightened concern among Japanese goods producers. Underlying growth weakness across much of Asia led to struggling exports, which fell at the sharpest rate in four months. Difficulties on the international front merely add to uncertainties domestically, with upcoming upper house elections in July, and the impending sales tax hike later this year. Subsequently, sentiment turned negative in May for the first time in six-and-a-half years.”