Japan business sentiment rises, global slowdown weighs on outlook – poll

  • Manufacturer confidence at +8, first rise in 4 months
  • Services index hits 3-year high of +25 in December
  • Future manufacturers, non-manufacturers are depressed
  • Reuters Tankan closely tied to BOJ Tankan

TOKYO, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Sentiment among Japan’s largest manufacturers rose for the first time in four months in December, a monthly Reuters survey showed, with sentiment in the services sector hitting a three-year high amid the COVID-19 slump.

However, a monthly survey conducted in conjunction with the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) Tankan quarterly survey showed that large manufacturers expected business conditions to remain stable over the next three months, while the outlook for the services sector deteriorated, reflecting an uncertain outlook .

The mixed data highlighted the uneven nature of Japan’s recovery from the pandemic, as a slowdown in China raised the risk of a global recession and a possible COVID-19 resurgence in Japan clouded the outlook.

The survey showed sentiment among large manufacturers was +8 in December, up from +2 a month earlier. 22 to Dec 2. This is the first increase since August. Producers of manufactured goods such as metal products and transportation equipment machinery led the improvement in sentiment.

The services index rose to +25 from +20 in November. It was the best reading since October 2019, with respondents in the information and communications subsector being the most optimistic.

For each category in the survey, the result is the percentage of respondents who are optimistic minus the percentage who are pessimistic.

Despite the improvement in index numbers, comments from respondents tended to be cautious.

“We are struggling due to high energy costs, a weak yen, rising prices, a sluggish economy in Europe, rising inflation in the U.S., a protracted war in Ukraine, reduced demand at home and shortages of parts,” one manager or machinery maker wrote in the survey. road. “With the global economy slowing down, it’s hard to take the next step.”

Since the questions in the survey are largely the same as those in the central bank’s survey, the quarterly shift in the Reuters data somewhat bodes well for what’s to come in the next BOJ Tankan report on Dec. 12. 14.

For large manufacturers, the Reuters December index value was down 2 points from September, pointing to a slight decline in the next headline data from the Bank of Japan’s Tankan index.

The December services index was 14 points higher than three months earlier.

When asked whether they expected business conditions to improve or worsen over the next three months, large manufacturers scored the same +8 as in December. For services companies, the outlook for March was +20, 5 percentage points lower than December’s figure.

The Bank of Japan’s latest Tankan report showed sentiment among manufacturers deteriorated in the three months to September, as persistently high material costs clouded the fragile economic outlook.

Japan’s economy unexpectedly shrank for the first time in a year in the third quarter as global recession risks, a weak yen and rising import costs hurt consumption and businesses.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Bradley Perrett

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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