TOKYO -- Japan's manufacturing activity accelerated to eight-month high in December, with increased production and new orders.
The Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to 52.6 from 52.2 in November. Readings above 50 indicate an expansion, while those below 50 indicate a contraction.
Meanwhile, business confidence slid to the lowest in about two years amid concerns towards the consumption tax hike planned for this year.
"Japan's goods-producing economy looks set to contribute to a bounce-back in GDP growth for Q4," said Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
"Nonetheless, the survey data provide reason to remain cautious on growth prospects," Hayes added.
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