Asia Economy

Japan's big manufacturers' morale worsens in the first quarter, Bank Of Japan's tankan survey shows

Key Points
  • Business confidence at big Japanese manufacturers worsened in March from three months ago, the Bank of Japan's closely watched "tankan" survey showed on Monday.
  • This underscored concerns that slumping exports and factory output were taking their toll on Japan's economy.
  • The headline index for big manufacturers' sentiment stood at plus 12 in March, versus plus 19 registered three months ago, the quarterly tankan survey showed.
A security guard stands at the entrance of Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo.
Yuriko Nakao | Reuters

Business confidence at big Japanese manufacturers worsened in March from three months ago, the Bank of Japan's closely watched "tankan" survey showed on Monday, underscoring concerns that slumping exports and factory output were taking their toll on Japan's economy.

The headline index for big manufacturers' sentiment stood at plus 12 in March, versus plus 19 registered three months ago, the quarterly tankan survey showed. It compared with the median estimate of plus 14 in a Reuters poll of economists.

The index is expected to fall further to plus 8 over the next three months.

The survey also showed that big firms plan to raise their capital spending by 1.2 percent in the financial year to March 2020, versus analysts' median estimate of a 0.4 percent decline.

The tankan's sentiment indexes are derived by subtracting the number of respondents who say conditions are poor from those who say they are good. A positive reading means optimists outnumber pessimists.