Tokyo - Japanese manufacturing activity expanded in December at the same pace as the previous month as new orders grew at a faster rate in a sign the economy maintained momentum at the end of 2015, a revised survey showed on Monday.
The Markit/Nikkei Final Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was a seasonally adjusted 52.6 in December versus a flash reading of 52.5 and unchanged from a final 52.6 in November - the highest reading since March 2014.
The index remained above the 50 threshold that separates expansion from contraction for the eighth consecutive month.
The final index for new orders was 54.2, up from a preliminary 54.1 and a final 53.6 in the previous month.
For new export orders, the final number fell to 52.2 from a flash reading of 52.4 and from a final 53.2 in November, the survey also showed.
Japan’s economy dodged recession in the third quarter with the initial estimate of a contraction revised to an annualized expansion of 1.0 percent due to gains in capital expenditure, data showed last month.
An unexpected rise in machinery orders also suggests that business investment could help underpin growth due to improving corporate activity and domestic demand.
Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Richard Borsuk