Survey finds deep business pessimism in Japan

April 1st, 2009 - 11:23 am ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, April 1 (DPA) Japan’s key Tankan index of manufacturer sentiment hit a record low in March, the Bank of Japan said Wednesday.
The survey of large firms dropped to minus 58 in March, the lowest number recorded in Tankan’s 35-year history. The plummeting confidence pointed to lower spending and investment, job losses and a deepening recession.

A negative figure shows pessimists outnumber optimists.

The surveyed firms expect to pare back investment by 6.6 percent for the next 12 months.

The index has worsened especially among exporters such as automakers and steelmakers, according to Takahide Kiuchi, chief economist of Nomura Securities Co. He said the Tankan results confirmed that Japanese companies are suffering from unprecedented recession.

The reading for major non-manufacturers’ confidence showed the largest fall in 26 years, down to minus 31 from minus 9.

The central bank said it expects confidence among manufacturers to improve slightly during the next three months through June, with the index rising to minus 51, and the index among non-manufacturers to rise 1 point to minus 30.

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