Business outlook survey shows sentiment falls in Japan

10:19, March 18, 2010      

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Sentiment on the economy for major companies fell in Japan for the January to March quarter, according to the business outlook survey, released by the Cabinet Office on Thursday.

The business survey index (BSI) on business conditions showed that among all industries, sentiment dropped by 0.5 points to minus 2.4 for the quarter. The index is calculated by taking the percentage of companies that believe conditions improved for the quarter and subtracting the percentage that believe conditions worsened.

For manufacturing, sentiment stood at 2.4 points, and for nonmanufacturing it was minus 6.3.

Industries also project that going forward, things are likely to not see a significant improvement in the near future. For the April to June quarter, the index showed sentiment stands at minus 1.6 for all industries. In the July to September period, however, companies projections improve to 6.8 points.

On general economic conditions, the survey showed that sentiment stood at 5.8, for manufacturing it was at 1.6 points and in nonmanufacturing it stood at minus 10.2 points.

It is the second consecutive quarter in which sentiment has fallen among Japanese businesses that have capital stock of 10 million yen (110,880 U.S. dollars) or more.

The survey is conducted by asking 14,309 companies questions on current business conditions for the quarter, of which 11,408 responded.

The government on Monday improved its outlook on the economy, and statistics in recent weeks have been generally positive, as Japan struggles to turn its tentative economic recovery toward full growth without the need of government stimulus measures.

Source: Xinhua
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