Manufacturing generally been slowing in most economies in recent months but one of the worst-performing countries has been Japan.
Surveys of purchasing managers around the world showed that manufacturing activity continued to increase in September but at a slower rate. The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI fell to a 14-month low of 52.5 in September from 53.7 in August.
Japanese manufacturing, though, is already contracting. The Nomura/JMMA Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell below the 50 mark to 49.5 in September from 50.1 in August.
Indeed, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also show that Japanese manufacturing and industrial output have been declining in recent months. In August, Japanese industrial output fell by 0.3 percent after having fallen by 1.1 percent in June and 0.2 percent in July.
The ministry's survey of production forecasts shows that production is expected to fall 0.1 percent in September and 2.9 percent in October.
With output in each of the first two months of the third quarter already lower than every month in the second quarter, it now looks likely that overall third quarter production will be lower than that in the second quarter.