The Japanese economy has been sluggish due to the novel coronavirus. Asked when they think the economy will recover, over 40% of companies said they anticipate it will be next year or later, according to a survey of major companies by the Sankei Shimbun. The poll found strong-rooted concern that the impact of the novel coronavirus will be prolonged, with over 20% of companies saying that they anticipate the recovery will be delayed until July 2021 or later. The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are scheduled for next July. Although a good number of companies said the economy will turn toward recovery during the July–September quarter this year because the emergency declaration was lifted at the end of May, the poll suggests companies are wary of a resurgence of the novel coronavirus.
The survey, which had both multiple-choice and free-response questions, was conducted from late July through early August. Responses were received from 119 companies. The results of the poll were released on Aug. 14.
A total of 25% of the 104 valid responses received to the question on the recovery of the domestic economy said that the economy will recover “in the July–September quarter this year,” making it the most frequently given response. The majority of companies said that this is because economic activities have restarted. As a trading company said, “Commercial facilities have reopened because the emergency declaration has been lifted.”
There were also many companies taking a cautious position on economic recovery, however. The second most frequently given response was “in or after July 2021,” with 22.1% of firms giving this response. If “other responses,” including “don’t know” responses, are factored out, over half of companies estimate that recovery will come next year or later. Asked the reason for their answer, an automotive company said “no virtuous cycle will arise while there are concerns about a resurgence of the virus.” This indicates companies are concerned about a second wave of infections. Many companies think it is inevitable that the impact of the novel coronavirus will be prolonged. “Countermeasures will need to continue until a vaccine or therapeutics are developed,” commented a construction company.