The Yomiuri Shimbun’s New Year’s Questionnaire Survey on the Economy found widespread optimism among company executives. In the survey of executives at 30 leading companies, some 28 respondents said that the economy today is “recovering moderately,” while 26 pollees, almost 90%, said the economy will continue to be “recovering moderately” in six months’ time.
Four executives predicted that the economy will be “stagnating” six months hence.
Some 27 respondents anticipate solid economic growth, saying that the real economic growth rate will be “between 1.0% and less than 1.5%” in 2018. One respondent predicted the rate will be “between 0.0% and less than 0.5%,” and one pollee said “between 0.5% and less than 1.0%.” The government forecasts a 1.8% real economic growth rate in fiscal 2018, higher than the executives’ predictions.
Asked what factors are spurring the current economic recovery (multiple responses permitted), 14 pollees said “recovery in capital investment,” while 10 executives said “recovery in personal consumption” and another 10 said “growth of the U.S. economy.” Asked what factors will drive economic recovery going forward (multiple responses permitted), 20 pollees said “increase in capital investment.”
Only six executives said, however, that they will increase capital investment at their own company in fiscal 2018 compared to fiscal 2017. Although their own companies remains cautious, the executives predict a widespread increase in capital investment in the Japanese economy overall.
Some 80% (24 pollees) predicted the Nikkei 225 would reach a high between 24,000 yen and 25,000 yen.
The Japanese economy faces the issue of emerging from deflation. Some 20 respondents forecast inflation of “around 1%” in 2018 (annual average). No executive said “around 2%.”
The questionnaire was conducted in December 2017, and responses were received through interviews or in writing.