Japan's service sector shrinks for the first time in five months in August
Data showed that the services purchasing managers' index in Japan shrank to 49.5 points in August, compared to 50.3 points in July, the first contraction since last March. Analysts had expected that the Japanese services sector would record 49.2 points in August.
The downturn shows that the recovery of the world's third-largest economy remains fragile at best and worrisome at a time when global growth prospects are turning increasingly pessimistic. Japan's composite PMI fell to 49.4 points in August from 50.2 in July, the first contraction since February.