The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to contract in January, and at a steady pace, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Wednesday with a manufacturing PMI score of 48.9.
That's unchanged from the December reading and remains beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
The main positive influences on the headline PMI came from slower cutbacks to production and a smaller decline in new orders. January data pointed to only a modest reduction in output levels across the Japanese manufacturing sector, with the speed of decline the slowest since October 2022.
Survey respondents noted that production schedules were curtailed due to weaker customer demand and more subdued underlying business conditions, especially across the electronics supply chain. At the same time, some firms commented on a boost from improved materials availability and efforts to replenish inventories.