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ECONOMY

Opinion poll & results from Asahi Shimbun survey of 100 leading companies

  • June 19, 2018
  • , Asahi , p. 6
  • JMH Translation

Questions & answers  

(Figures are numbers of companies. The total number of companies is not the same for each question because there were “no answer” responses. Questions and answers have been abbreviated in some cases. [The survey was conducted from May 28 to June 8, 2018, through interviews with top executives at 100 leading Japanese companies nationwide.])

 

Business confidence

 

What is your assessment of the current Japanese economy?

1) It is expanding

2

2) It is expanding moderately

84

3) It is leveling off

12

 

What is the main factor(s) behind your assessment? (Select up to two responses from the list below.)

1) Corporate profits

50

2) Corporate capital investment

38

3) Production

4

4) Employment situation

25

5) Wages

3

6) Personal consumption

35

7) Public works projects

1

8) Commodity prices

2

9) Crude oil and raw materials prices

1

10) Exports

24

11) Stock prices

6

12) Other answers (O/A)

6

 

What are causes for concern regarding the outlook for the domestic economy? (Select up to two responses from the list below.)

1) Worsening of corporate profits

6

2) Stagnation in corporate capital investment

5

3) Labor shortage

19

4) Stagnation in personal consumption

32

5) Decrease in public works projects

0

6) Drop in stock prices

3

7) Yen depreciation

0

8) Yen appreciation

20

9) Rise in prices of crude oil and other resources

23

10) Rise in consumption tax

13

11) Delay in fiscal reconstruction

3

12) Delay in growth strategy

12

13) Future of Japan’s monetary policy

1

14) Future of domestic politics

3

15) Future of overseas economy

44

16) O/A

11

 

What is your assessment of the current world economy?

1) It is expanding

6

2) It is expanding moderately

84

3) It is leveling off

7

4) It is slowing down moderately

1

 

What are causes for concern regarding the outlook for the world economy?

1) Impact of U.S. monetary policy, including interest rate hike

13

2) Trump administration’s economic policies

51

3) Slowdown in the Chinese economy

12

4) Slowdown in the economies of newly emerging nations (excluding China)

4

5) Slowdown in European economy

1

6) International conflicts and terrorist attacks

6

7) Trends in resource prices

3

8) North Korea

1

9) O/A

8

 

Policy issues

 

What do you think about the fact that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has eliminated the time frame it had set for reaching the “2% inflation target”?

1) This enhances policy flexibility

28

2) The BOJ should indicate a time frame because otherwise commitment to achieving the target will weaken

7

3) The BOJ should have eliminated the time frame sooner rather than postponing it six times

7

4) The BOJ should not insist on the 2% target

29

5) O/A

16

 

The BOJ has not explained its “exit” strategy for ending large-scale monetary easing? What do you think about the BOJ’s stance?

1) I respect the BOJ’s stance. There is no need to give an exit strategy now

26

2) I can’t say either way

51

3) I do not respect the BOJ’s stance. The BOJ should immediately give an exit strategy

7

 

The government is pushing back the goal of achieving a primary balance surplus by five years to fiscal 2025. What do you think about this?

1) Fiscal 2025 is appropriate

48

2) Fiscal 2025 is late

21

3) Pushing the goal back later would be fine

1

4) There is no need to have a target date

9

 

Corporate management

 

How will your company’s capital investment (consolidated basis) in Japan in fiscal 2018 compare with your company’s actual figure in fiscal 2017?

1) Fiscal 2018 will exceed fiscal 2017

50

2) Exceed slightly

15

3) No change

17

4) Be slightly lower

6

5) Be lower

5

 

The U.S. imposed high tariffs on steel and aluminum products from China and other countries, and concern about trade friction [between the U.S. and China] is heightening. How will the friction impact your company?

1) Major impact

1

2) Some impact

16

3) No impact

51

4) No impact now, but it looks like it will have an impact going forward

24

 

Employment and wages

 

What did your company do for the 2018 Spring Offensive (Shunto)? (multiple answers permitted)

1) Raised base pay

47

2) Increased bonuses

35

3) Offered periodic pay increases

51

4) Did not raise base pay, increase bonuses, or offer periodic pay increases

0

5) Wages are linked to performance and ability, so there was no across-the-board wage hike

16

6) O/A

21

 

Are you able to secure a sufficient number of employees?

1) We are able to secure a sufficient number of employees

41

2) We are able to secure a sufficient number of employees, but there is a chance that we will have a labor shortage in the future

41

3) We are not able to secure a sufficient number of employees

11

4) We have a labor surplus

0

5) O/A

7

 

What is the impact on management of having a labor shortage? (multiple answers permitted)

1) We reviewed our business plans and services, including production and creation of new branches

4

2) Sales and profits decreased

3

3) Current employees have more work

20

4) It has almost no impact

15

5) O/A

13

 

It is said that recruiting new university graduates is a seller’s market. How does this impact your recruiting activities?

1) It is having a concrete impact

15

2) It is not having a concrete impact now

53

3) It is not having a concrete impact now, but it looks like it will at some point if the current situation continues

29

4) It is said it is a seller’s market, but we do not have a tangible sense of that

1

 

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