Japan Flash Manufacturing PMI Back in Expansion in May

Japanese manufacturing activity rebounded modestly in May as output and new orders picked up, suggesting a much-needed improvement in demand at home and abroad.  The Markit/JMMA flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to a seasonally adjusted 50.9 in May from a final 49.9 in April.

The index returned above the 50 threshold that separates contraction from expansion for the first time in two months.  The output index also rose to a preliminary 51.7 in May, after shrinking in April.

New orders rose to a preliminary 51.2 from 48.8 in April, ending two months of declines.  New export orders rose modestly to 50.5 from a final 50.3 in the previous month, but expanded for the 11th consecutive month.  The final Markit/JMMA PMI for May will be released on June 1.