Japan's 'tankan' economic survey shows sentiment flat


TOKYO (AP) — A key quarterly economic survey released Friday by the Bank of Japan shows sentiment among large manufacturers remained unchanged, as worries about global trade tensions persisted.

The “tankan” survey showed sentiment remained flat at 19 for a second time after three quarters of decline.

The survey has long been seen as an important indicator of the state of the world’s third largest economy. It measures the difference between companies surveyed that have a “favorable” outlook and those with an “unfavorable” outlook.

The manufacturers surveyed include automakers and electronics companies that are mainstays of Japan’s economy.

Some analysts had expected a downturn in sentiment. The survey did project that sentiment will drop by four points to 15 over the next three months.

WSJ Reporter Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison, Employer Calls It a 'Disgraceful, Sham Conviction'

Still, analysts said the news was heartening after the economy contracted at a 2.5 percent annual rate in July-September.

“The Q4 Tankan survey was better than most had anticipated and adds to the evidence that the economy has turned the corner,” Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

He pointed to upbeat corporate capital spending plans. Overall, companies plan to increase investment by 10.4 percent in the fiscal year that ends in March. That’s up from a projection of 8.5 percent in the previous quarter.

The latest estimates are the strongest since 1990, he said, and suggest strong non-residential investment to come.

Still, Japan’s growth is dependent on exports and any slowdown in pan-Pacific trade would hurt sentiment. Uncertainty over trade friction with the U.S. also would discourage investment as manufacturers take a wait-and-see approach if their sales or profits might be affected by President Donald Trump’s trade policies.

Japan has agreed to hold trade talks with the U.S. to help soothe friction, especially over auto trade.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City