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Japan's January manufacturing PMI shows solid growth at start of year

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Japanese manufacturing activity showed sustained growth in January, a survey showed on Monday, suggesting domestic demand continues to recover after the economy fell into a surprise recession last year.

[TOKYO] Japanese manufacturing activity showed sustained growth in January, a survey showed on Monday, suggesting domestic demand continues to recover after the economy fell into a surprise recession last year.

The final Markit/JMMA Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was 52.2 in January, slightly above a preliminary reading of 52.1 and higher than 52.0 in December.

It remained above the 50 threshold that separates contraction from expansion for the eighth consecutive month.

The output component of the PMI index was 52.7, more than a preliminary reading of 52.3 and 52.5 in December.

New export orders rose for a seventh straight month and at a faster pace compared to December.

Japan's economy is expected to grow an annualised 3.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year and an annualised 2.1 per cent this quarter, rebounding from a mild recession after a sales tax increase last April, according to a Reuters poll.

Economists expect growth in consumer spending, exports and capital expenditure to drive growth this year.

Data last week showing a tightening labour market and gains in industrial output also suggest the economy will continue to expand this year.

REUTERS