Japan’s manufacturing sector suffers on coronavirus impact

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TOKYO- Japanese manufacturing activity experienced the sharpest decline in seven years in February, as series of impact and disruptions brought by the coronavirus contagion boosted the possibility of a recession in the world’s third-largest economy.

The underperformance of the sector indicated that the virus greatly impacted the global growth and business, prompting Japanese authorities to heighten the level of stimulus.

The Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) marginally decreased to 47.6 from previously set mark of 48.8 last January. Such record remained to be the lowest since the latter part of 2012.

The index laid flat under the 50.0 mark, the median point of contraction and expansion. After confirmation, this would be considered the lengthiest stretch since the 16-month long decline back in June 2009, not far from the conclusion of 2008 global financial crisis.

Records disclosed by the PMI showed that new orders were declining at the most disturbing pace while other crucial parameters including production and backlogs of work also plummeted.  

“Latest PMI data... significantly raise the prospect of a technical recession in the world’s third largest economy,” said Joe Hayes of IHS Markit

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