TOKYO - Japanese manufacturing activity expanded in September at the fastest pace in four months as domestic and export orders picked up, a preliminary private survey showed on Monday in a sign of strengthening demand.
The Markit/Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to a seasonally adjusted 52.6 in September from a final 52.2 in August.
The index remained above the 50 threshold that separates expansion contraction from the 13th consecutive month and reached the highest level since May.
"Firms signalled stronger expansions in both output and new orders amid reports of firmer demand both at home and abroad," said Annabel Fiddes, principal economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
"The strong end to Q3 bodes well for production in the coming months, with business confidence also perking up slightly since August," she said.
The index for new export orders rose to a preliminary 53.1 from 51.3 in the previous month. The flash index for new orders rose to 52.5 from 51.9 in August.
The output component of the PMI index also rose from August.
The PMI survey follows government data last week showing Japan's exports in August rose at the fastest in nearly four years due to strengthening demand from overseas, offering further evidence that Japan's economy will continue to grow.