China's PMI slightly down in April

Solid manufacturing sector growth recorded in Japan in April - Nikkei Japan Manufacturing PMI

Solid manufacturing sector growth recorded in Japan in April - Nikkei Japan Manufacturing PMI

Bad weather added to weak demand to drag down overall economic growth in the first three months of the year, so a recovery in the sector could give UK GDP a much-needed boost from April onwards.

A third successive monthly fall in the headline PMI represents a clear turning point in growth since the start of the year and can not simply be attributed to first quarter's weather-related disruptions, Paul Smith, director at IHS Markit, said.

Japan's manufacturing sector expanded at a quickened pace during April amid improved growth rates in output and new orders. But while domestic demand supported the rise in production, new orders from overseas fell for the fifth consecutive month in April.

Manufacturing employment rose for the forty-fourth month running in April. It also marks the 21st straight month of expanding business conditions in China, reports Chinese news portal China Economic.

The survey revealed that residential work was by far the best performing category last month, with the rate of growth reaching its strongest since May 2017. Output growth was solid and picked-up from March's five-month low, but remained slightly below the average for the current nine-month period of expansion. Although this will be unreservedly welcomed by policymakers, weak export sales will be a concern and may be a sign of things to come amid the recent strength of the yen.

"The manufacturing sector saw growth weaken further at the start of the second quarter, but let's not lose sight of the fact that the overall pace of expansion remains encouragingly solid".

The Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing PMI is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in over 450 industrial companies. The pace of expansion was also higher than 54 in April 2017.

According to IHS Markit's report, lower production requirements and subdued demand conditions led to the deterioration in manufacturing conditions, which exceeded the series trend. Problematically, the rate of contraction quickened the fastest in just over a year. The rate of input price inflation also was shown to have accelerated to the sharpest in nearly seven years.

Part of the increase in purchase prices was passed on to clients in the form of higher output charges in April.

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