TOKYO -- Growth in manufacturing activity in Japan rebounded in April thanks to robust domestic demand, according to an industry gauge.
The Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to 53.8 in April from 53.1 in March. A reading above 50 signals an improvement, while one below 50 points to a contraction in manufacturing activity.
It marked the 21st consecutive month of rising production in Japan's manufacturing sector. "New order inflows rose at a solid and faster clip, prompting firms to recruit new staff and expand production," said Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
But Hayes noted that growth in new export orders slowed down.
"Consequently, the uptick in total new orders is indicative of more robust demand conditions domestically. 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."
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