A worker cycles near a factory at the Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki, Japan. Photo: Reuters/Toru Hanai

The Nikkei-Markit Japan manufacturing purchasing managers’ index increased to 54.8 in January, The Financial Times reports, up from 54.0 the month before.

Increase in new orders was up for the third consecutive month to reach a four-year high, led by new business from overseas.

Japan’s exports rose dramatically in 2017, on par with growth in emerging Asia, and led by shipments to China. Exports to China, Japan’s largest trading partner, rose 15.8% in December from the same period a year earlier, and shipments were up 20.5% for all of 2017, year on year, according to Bloomberg.

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