Japan Manufacturers Turn Less Pessimistic, Service Sector Mood Brightens-Reuters Tankan Poll

The New York Times Finance 3 days ago

TOKYO — Japanese manufacturers turned less gloomy about their business conditions in December while the service sector outlook improved from the prior month's survey, the Reuters Tankan poll showed, ahead of an expected economic stimulus package to bolster the economy.

Manufacturers were the most pessimistic since 2013 in the November survey and the service sector mood was at three-year lows, as the world's third-largest economy weathered a global slowdown, natural disasters and a national sales tax hike.

The monthly poll, which tracks the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) closely watched tankan quarterly survey, found sentiment was expected to further improve among manufacturers and non-manufacturers over the coming three months.

As the protracted Sino-U.S. trade war remains unresolved and global demand weakens, Japan's policymakers are hopeful that solid domestic demand on the back of a tight labour market will help to offset the slump in the country's exports.

Compared with three months earlier, the Reuters Tankan manufacturers' sentiment index remained largely unchanged, while the one for the service sector stood lower, pointing to subdued readings in the quarterly BOJ tankan due on Dec. 13.

The central bank will closely scrutinise the tankan at its Dec. 18-19 policy-setting meeting. It is in no mood to top up its already massive monetary stimulus now given that markets remain stable and it has little ammunition left to battle another financial crisis.

In the Reuters poll of 502 large- and mid-sized companies, in which 258 firms responded on condition of anonymity, many voiced concerns about a fallout from the prolonged trade war between Washington and Beijing as well as from the effects of a sales tax hike at home to 10% on Oct. 1.

"Our sales fell more than 10% in October from a year earlier because of the sales tax hike. There was not a lot of front-load demand, but pull-back was larger than we expected," a manager of a manufacturer wrote in the survey.

The sentiment index for manufacturers stood at minus 6, up three points from the previous month, according to the survey conducted Nov. 20-Dec. 2. Compared with three months ago, the index was up one point. It is seen rising to minus 1 in March.

The service-sector index grew to plus 14, up two points from the previous month. Compared with three months ago, the index was down five points. It is seen rising to plus 18 in March.

The BOJ's last tankan showed big manufacturers' confidence fell to a six-year low in the July-September quarter, a sign the Sino-U.S. trade war was taking a toll on the export-led economy.

Japan's economy ground to a near halt in July-September as the global slowdown knocked exports and consumer spending weakened.

The government is looking to finalise an economic stimulus package totalling $120 billion to support the economy and build infrastructure to cope with big natural disasters, two government officials with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Including private-sector and other spending, the package would come to around 25 trillion yen ($230 billion), they told Reuters, declining to be identified because the package has not been finalised.

The Reuters Tankan indexes are calculated by subtracting the percentage of pessimistic respondents from optimistic ones. A negative figure means pessimists outnumber optimists.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Tags: Business

Source link
Read also:
One America News Network › Finance › 2 months ago
By Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO - Japanese manufacturers' business outlook was less pessimistic in October while service-sector sentiment rose to a three-month high, the Reuters Tankan poll found, likely
Reuters › Finance › 2 months ago
TOKYO - Japanese manufacturers' business outlook was less pessimistic in October while service-sector sentiment rose to a three-month high, the Reuters Tankan poll found, likely easing fears for now of the world's third-largest economy falling into a...
Reuters › Finance › 2 weeks ago
U.S. stock index futures gave up gains on Monday following a CNBC report that the mood in China over a trade deal with the United States is "pessimistic" due to President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs, which China believed the United...
One America News Network › Entertainment › 1 week ago
By Hyonhee Shin and Minwoo Park SEOUL (Reuters) - K-pop singer Koo Hara left a "pessimistic" note, police said on Monday, a day after the former member of top South Korean girl group Kara was found
The New York Times › Finance › 3 days ago
The Indian rupee will not recover lost ground in the coming year, according to a Reuters poll of currency strategists who are more pessimistic than last month amid doubts over any kind of trade truce between the United States and China.
ABC News › 2 months ago
Ex-national security adviser John Bolton gives a pessimistic outlook on the prospects for getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program as he makes his 1st public appearance since he was ousted from the Trump administration
Breitbart › 1 month ago
Chinese Catholics are pessimistic about Pope Francis’s upcoming visit to Asia, convinced it will not ease persecution by the communists.
Reuters › 1 week ago
K-pop singer Koo Hara left a "pessimistic" note, police said on Monday, a day after the former member of top South Korean girl group Kara was found dead.
The New York Times › Entertainment › 1 week ago
K-pop singer Koo Hara left a "pessimistic" note, police said on Monday, a day after the former member of top South Korean girl group Kara was found dead.
Daily Mail Online › 1 week ago
Lee Yong-pyo, commissioner of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, said: 'A handwritten note that was pessimistic about her life was found on a living room table.' Pictured: Goo Hara
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR