Japan business outlook turns negative, first in 4 quarters
Majority of corporations foresee improvement in 2nd half of 2017
TOKYO -- The Business Survey Index of large enterprises across industries in Japan stood at minus 2 points for the April-June quarter, according to statistics released by the country's Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday. The result marks the first time in four quarters that the gauge for business confidence turned negative -- it stood at plus 1.3 points for the previous quarter.
The index refers to the difference in the proportion of companies who see their business conditions turning "upward" or "downward" during a given quarter. A negative number indicates a majority of companies feeling pessimistic.
Among large corporations, the figure for manufacturers came to minus 2.9 points, and minus 1.6 points for non-manufacturing sectors. For small to midsize enterprises, the figure across industries was negative 9.9 points.
On the other hand, large corporations holding a positive outlook for the next quarter through September overtook the negative group by 7.1 points.
Prospects of capital investment for fiscal 2017 rose 3.8% from the year before -- improved from the 4.6% decrease in the previous survey.