TOKYO, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Activity in Japan’s services sector contracted for the eight 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.
“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.
“Demand across the country remains subdued, with tourism and travel restrictions impeding new work volumes across the service sector.”