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What’s Affecting Japan’s Manufacturing PMI?

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Japan’s manufacturing PMI in March 2018

Japan’s manufacturing PMI showed a softer rise in March as compared to February 2018. It stood at 53.1 in March as compared to 54.1 in February 2018. The PMI figure was slightly below the preliminary market estimate of 53.2 and represented the slowest expansion in manufacturing activity since October 2017.

Japan’s manufacturing PMI in March 2018 was primarily affected by the following factors:

  • Production volume and output rose at a softer pace in March 2018. The expansion in factory output was the slowest since October 2017.
  • New orders and export orders all rose at a softer pace in March 2018.
  • Employment in the manufacturing sector hit a three-month low.

Japan’s economic activity is hugely dependent on its exports. The rising worries about global trade war talk affected consumer sentiment around the world and affected overseas orders, which weighed on Japan’s manufacturing industry in March 2018.

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Performance of various ETFs in March 2018

The iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) and the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity ETF (DXJ) fell 0.6% and 2%, respectively, in March 2018.

In the next part of this series, we’ll analyze the UK’s manufacturing PMI in March 2018.

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