Japan’s services sector market contracted for eighth-straight month in September

TOKYO – Activity in Japan’s services sector contracted for the eighth straight month in September but at the slowest pace since the coronavirus pandemic started wreaking havoc on the economy, a private business survey showed on Monday, in a sign that demand is starting to steady.

The final Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to its highest in eight months, coming in at a seasonally adjusted 46.9 from 45.0 in the previous month.

The headline index, while still below the 50 neutral level, was higher than a preliminary reading of 45.6, suggesting conditions were moving closer to stabilisation.

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“Overall, there are signs of improvement in the sector, however recovery is far from secure,” said Shreeya Patel, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

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