Japan Services Growth Improves In January

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Japan's service sector activity expanded at a slightly faster pace in January, results of a survey by IHS Markit showed Monday.

The seasonally adjusted services purchasing managers' index, or PMI, rose to 51.9 in January from 51.1 in December. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The Nikkie composite output index, which combines scores from the manufacturing and services indexes, also climbed to 52.8 in January from 52.2 in the preceding month.

New orders received by Japanese services companies increased at a sharper rate, contributing to a rise in the level of outstanding work and prompting firms to hire new staff.

Encouraged by stronger upturns in output and new orders, business confidence strengthened to a 56-month high.