The services sector in Japan continued to contract in April, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Friday with a services PMI score of 49.5.
That's up from 48.3 in March, although it remains slightly below the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
This marked the slowest contraction in activity in the current 15-month period of decline. The latest reduction was only modest overall, as firms faced softer restrictions in the first half of April.
Demand broadly stabilized in the latest survey period. This pushed the seasonally adjusted New Business Index to the highest level since January 2020, with some service providers noting that the lifting of restrictions supported improved sales during April.
The report also showed that the composite index moved to expansion with a reading of 51.0, up from 49.9 in March.