Japan Private Sector Contracts For First Time In Over 3 Years

Japan's private sector contracted for the first time in more than three years in October, survey from IHS Markit showed Wednesday.

The Jibun Bank final composite output index fell to 49.1 in October from 51.5 in September. The initial score for September was 49.8. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

The downturn reflected the weakness across both manufacturing and services. The services Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 49.7 from 52.8 in the previous month. The flash reading was 50.3.

Aggregate new order intakes declined compared to September as manufacturing sales fell at the fastest pace since May 2016.

That said employment growth was sustained in October due to a notable rise in manufacturing jobs.

Meanwhile, an intensification of inflationary pressures in the service sector led both composite input and output prices to rise at stronger rates, the survey revealed.

"The short-term pricing and demand adjustments to the taxation change will likely dampen activity in the closing months of 2019," Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit, said.

"Unfortunately, it seems that the service sector may struggle to offset manufacturing weakness," said Hayes.

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