Japan Private Sector Rebounds In January

Japan's private sector rebounded at the start of 2020, driven by the expansion in services output, flash survey results from IHS Markit showed Friday.

The Jibun Bank flash composite output index rose to 51.1 in January from 48.6 in December. A score above the neutral 50 indicates expansion.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index advanced to 52.1 from 49.4 a month ago. The factory PMI also climbed in January but remained below 50. The corresponding index came in at 49.3 versus 48.4 a month ago.

While official data are yet to confirm recovery, the fourth quarter looks on track to register an ugly decline in GDP, Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit said. The January flash numbers will certainly allay fears for now of an impending technical recession in Japan.

Nevertheless, manufacturing confidence edged up in January in the wake of easing US-China tensions and some optimism regarding Japanese relations with South Korea, Hayes added.

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