Japan PMI Manufacturing was finalized at 54.3 in December, slightly lower than November’s 54.5. But that was well above 2021’s average of 52.7. Markit said output and new orders increased at slower rates. Employment level rose at fastest pace in nearly four years. Business optimism eased to four-month low.
Usamah Bhatti, Economist at IHS Markit, said: “Domestic markets were buoyed by a gradual recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic however a sharp rise in cases, particularly in South Korea, hindered international demand and continued to disrupt supply chains across the sector… Delivery delays and material shortages remained a dampener on production and sales… Average lead times across the final quarter of 2021 deteriorated further… Though still optimistic, Japanese goods producers were wary of the continued impact of the pandemic and supply chain disruption, which resulted in confidence dipping to the softest since August.”