TOKYO -- The Nikkei Asia Sector Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, for July showed output growth in 15 of the 19 sectors monitored.
Chemicals (54.7) marked the sharpest growth, followed by healthcare services (54.0) and beverages and food (53.8).
On the other side of the spectrum were machinery and equipment (46.8) and construction materials (48.9). Insurance (49.3) registered the first drop in activity since November.
Readings above 50 signal an improvement, while those below 50 show a deterioration.
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