The manufacturing sector in Japan slipped into contraction in February, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed on Thursday with a 32-month low manufacturing PMI score of 48.5.
That's down from 50.3 in January, and it sinks beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
Individually, deterioration in the manufacturing sector reflected stronger falls in production and new orders. Backlogs, new export orders, stocks of purchases and stocks of finished goods also contracted.
Future output expectations turned negative for the first time since November 2012.