TOKYO, April 30 Japanese manufacturing activity
expanded in April at the fastest pace in just over a year in an
encouraging sign that stabilising overseas demand and a weaker
yen are helping the economy.
The Markit/JMMA Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers
Index (PMI) rose to a seasonally adjusted 51.1 in April from
50.4 in March.
The index remained above the 50 threshold that separates
expansion from contraction for the second consecutive month and
showed that activity grew at the fastest pace since March 2012.
"This would represent a solid growth performance,
maintaining the trend that was observed in the first quarter of
the year and latest anecdotal evidence suggests a weaker yen is
playing a part in the expansion by raising export volumes," said
Paul Smith, senior economist at Markit.
The index for new export orders fell to 52.2 in April from
53.9 in the previous month.
The output component of the PMI index rose to 52.1 in April
from 51.3 in the previous month to also show the fastest
expansion since March last year.
The Japanese government's policy mix of bold fiscal and
monetary expansion pursued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has so
far driven the yen to a four-year low against the dollar
and sparked a 50 percent rally in Japanese share prices from