The services sector in Japan continued to contract in January, and at a faster pace, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Wednesday with a services PMI score of 46.1.

That beat expectations for 45.7 and it down from 47.7 in December – so it moves further beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

This extended the current sequence of contraction to 12 months, with the latest reduction the fastest since May. Panel members highlighted that the resurgence in COVID-19 infections and the introduction of a state of emergency to allow new restrictions designed to curb the spread of infections caused the fall in new work. Moreover, international demand for Japanese services deteriorated further.

Nonetheless, business expectations for the next 12 months remained positive in January. Firms commonly attributed confidence to hopes of an end to the pandemic, which they hope will stimulate both domestic and international demand.

The survey also showed that the composite index fell to 47.1 from 48.5 in December.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company –

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