The manufacturing sector in Japan has increased business activity for the first time in the last 3 months. According to Markit/Nikkei, in April, the purchasing managers index in the industrial sector of Japan rose to 50.2 points from 49.2 points in March, indicating an increase in activity. The decline in production last month was the lowest since January. In the manufacturing sector, there was also a slowdown in the reduction of new orders. Japanese companies increased operating expenses mainly due to higher costs for labor, fuel, metals and building materials. But their growth rate has been at a minimum since August 2017. In April, a weak rise in selling prices was also recorded. Japanese companies are showing improvements in business sentiment, expecting an increase in demand for their products in the next 12 months.
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