The headline Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' IndexTM (PMI) edged slightly lower to 54.1 in February, from 54.8 in January. This was consistent with a solid, albeit weaker, rate of improvement in business conditions for Japanese manufacturers.
Output continued along an expansionary path during February, however the rate of growth slowed for the first time since July 2017 to a four-month low. Nonetheless, firms increased production during February in line with greater new business inflows. New order growth was strong overall, despite easing. Similarly, new business from abroad rose to a weaker extent following January's 92-month high. China and the US were cited as sources of foreign demand.
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