The au Jibun Bank Japan Manufacturing PMI rose to 49.7 in December 2020 from a final 49.0 a month earlier, preliminary data showed. This was the highest reading since May 2019, as the economy emerged from the downturn caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Both output and new orders contracted the least in the current sequence of decline; while employment grew for the first time since February, albeit at a fractional pace. Meantime, export sales fell faster amid uncertainty in global demand and buying levels decreased more. As for prices, input cost inflation went up, while output prices dropped at a softer rate. Finally, business confidence eased to the softest since August.