Record rate of Japanese recovery

Japanese service sector output grew at a record high rate in March as the economic recovery took hold, Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed yesterday. The index hit 53.7 in the month, up from 51.2 in February and comfortably above the “no change” level of 50. Manufacturing activity also rose strongly, indicating a solid rise in private sector output in the month. “Although employment fell marginally at the composite level, record rises in incoming new business and work outstanding bodes well for jobs growth in the coming months,” said Markit economist Alex Hamilton. “What is most encouraging is that growth was broad-based across manufacturing and services, a trend rarely seen in the history of the series.”