TOKYO, Business confidence among major Japanese manufacturers in September worsened for the third straight quarter to hit the six-year low, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) said Tuesday.
The central bank’s quarterly survey showed the business sentiment index among big makers, such as automobile and electronics manufacturers, in the world’s third-largest economy, dropped to plus 5 points, compared with plus 7 points in the previous June poll. The headline reading was the weakest since June 2013 when it marked plus 4.
The BOJ attributed the deterioration to worries over the prolonged US-China trade friction that has caused a slowdown in the global economy. The index represents the percentage of companies that are positive about their business minus the percentage of those who gave negative replies. Thus, a positive number means optimists outnumber pessimists. The central bank’s quarterly survey is Japan’s most closely watched index of business confidence.
Confidence among large retailers, banks, real estate companies and other non-manufacturers slipped 2 points to plus 21, the first drop in two quarters, reflecting impacts from bad weather in the summer.
Looking ahead, large manufacturers expect their business sentiment index to further deteriorate to plus 2 in the next survey in December, while large non-manufacturers predict the reading will fall to plus 15, reflecting concern over reduced consumer spending due to a sales-tax hike to 10 percent from 8 percent implemented from Tuesday.
The latest survey was conducted between August 27 and September 30, covering 9,719 companies, of which 99.5 percent responded.
Source: Kuwait News Agency