Japan's large manufacturers' sentiment turns negative for 1st time in 7 years

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 1, 2020
Adjust font size:

TOKYO, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Japan's large manufacturers' business confidence turned negative in March for the first time in seven years, as sentiment was severely hurt by the fears of the global economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) said in its Tankan survey report on Wednesday.

The sentiment index plummeted to minus eight from zero in the recording period, marking its lowest level since the same reading was logged in March 2013.

The latest reading compares to median analysts forecasts for the sentiment index to tumble to minus 10.

The index for large non-manufacturers, meanwhile, stood at plus 8, diving from plus 20 in December's survey, the BOJ also said.

Looking ahead, the sentiment index for large manufactures is expected to fall to minus 11 in the months ahead, as concerns mount over global plants shuttering operations and supply chain disruptions linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, the index is also likely to reflect concerns over falling global and domestic consumption and a possible decline in domestic economic activities if further restrictions on people's movements are requested by the government.

This could include lockdowns imposed if the number of COVID-19 cases spikes to a point, the government has no choice but to declare a state of emergency over the situation, or issue enhanced stay-at-home orders.

The indexes reflect the percentage of companies reporting favorable business conditions minus the percentage of those reporting unfavorable conditions.

The BOJ's Tankan survey is regarded as a leading indicator of Japan's economic health and serves as a guide for the central bank regarding the future direction of its monetary policy.

The latest Tankan results could factor into the BOJ possibly shifting its policy henceforth and unrolling additional easing measures to underpin the world's third-largest economy amid the coronavirus crisis.

On March 16, the central bank decided to introduce additional monetary easing measures in a bid to stabilize financial markets amid recent turmoil owing to the impact of the global spread of the virus.

In an emergency meeting, the BOJ decided to expand its asset purchase program through the increased accumulation of exchange-traded fund securities and corporate bonds.

The central bank's ETF purchases were doubled from 6 trillion yen to an annual pace of 12 trillion yen (111.48 billion U.S. dollars).

Japan's central bank also announced a new policy enabling it to provide loans against corporate debt of about 8 trillion yen (74.29 billion U.S. dollars) as of the end of February as collateral at the interest rate of zero percent, with maturity of up to one year.

The BOJ, however, opted not to plunge its short-term interest rates further into negative territory, past the current level of 0.1 percent, amid concerns such a move would diminish profits at commercial banks.

The central bank's latest Tankan survey polled 9,653 firms and had a 99.0 percent response rate. Enditem

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter