Business sentiment worsening in Japan

The Bank of Japan‘s latest Tankan (短観) survey, (a quarterly poll of business confidence in the country) has revealed that sentiment among Japanese businesses worsened in the three months to December, reinforcing concerns over the country’s economy.

The survey’s manufacturers‘ index, which measures sentiment among large manufacturers in Japan, deteriorated from minus three in the previous quarter, to minus twelve in this quarter. The index has been negative for the last five quarters. Hiroshi Miyazaki, chief economist at Shinkin Asset Management in Tokyo commented, “we can see sentiment is worsening across the board, whether in manufacturing or services…there are not any signs that sentiment will recover quickly.”

Japanese manufacturers have suffered following a slowing demand for exports, a strong yen and reduced domestic consumption. There are now calls for the central bank to ease its policies. It is thought that in the light of the index, which plays a role in driving the central bank‘s monetary policy, the bank may announce some new measures to help revive the Japanese economy in the near future.

This survey comes just after revised growth figures earlier this week suggested the world’s third-largest economy was in recession. Between July and September of this year, Japan said its economy shrank by 0.9%, and many calls have been made for policymakers to implement new measures to help revive growth; an important issue in the Japanese elections which take place tomorrow. The country has unveiled some initiatives, including a stimulus boost worth 880bn yen (£6.7bn), announced in November, to create employment and support small businesses.

Sources include: BBC News

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