Manufacturers in Asia's two biggest economies are performing very differently after the pandemic, reports BBC News.
Factory activity in China expanded in February at the fastest pace in more than a decade, official figures show. However, in Japan manufacturing activity shrank in February at the fastest pace in over two years.
China's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 52.6 from 50.1 in January, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. It was the highest monthly reading since April 2012.
China's much better-than-expected performance came after the strict Coronavirus measures in the world's second largest economy were eased late last year. The country saw one of its worst years in nearly half a century in 2022 due to widespread lockdowns and outbreaks of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, in Japan private manufacturing PMI fell to 47.7 in February from January's 48.9, marking the fastest fall since September 2020.
The data underscored the major issues faced by businesses in the country — which is the world's third largest economy — including a global slowdown, the soaring cost of raw materials and calls for firms to raise wages for their workers to help ease a cost-of-living crisis.
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