Survey of Corporate Attitudes toward the economic outlook for 2019
Companies expecting a “worsening” phase for the economy in 2019 rapidly increase to 29.4%
— “Consumption tax system” is the greatest cause of concern —
The second announcement of real GDP growth for July – September 2018, announced on December 10, 2018 decreased 0.6% compared to the previous term (April – June) (annualized 2.5% decrease) and the first negative growth in two quarters. Consumer spending, exports and capital investments, etc., worsened due not only to a serious manpower shortage but also natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes. On the other hand, there is also an indication of improvement in the employment and income environments such as a rising ratio of active job openings to applicants. The disparity in business confidence is seen by industry and region.
Teikoku Databank has conducted a survey of corporate attitudes toward the economic trends for 2018 and the economic outlook for 2019. This survey was conducted in conjunction with the November 2018 TDB Trends Research, and the survey for the economic outlook has been conducted every year since November 2006, and this is the 13th survey.
*Survey period: November 16 – November 30, 2018; Companies Surveyed: 23,052; Valid Responses: 9,746 (Response Rate: 42.3%).
*Details of this survey can be found on the dedicated Economic Trend Survey HP. (http://www.tdb-di.com).
Primary points of survey results(summary)
- 1 9.4% of companies considered the economic trends for 2018 to be in a “recovery” phase, a decrease of 11.8 points from the previous survey (November 2017), and down to a single-digit percentage for the first time in two years. On the other hand, companies considering the trends to be in a “soft patch” phase exceeded more than half, at 54.7%, for the first time in two years, while those considering the trends to be in a “worsening” phase increased to a two-digit percentage, 17.2%, for the first time in two years.
- 2 9.1% of companies expect a “recovery” phase for the economic outlook for 2019, a large decrease from the outlook for 2018 (previous survey 20.3%). Although the percentage of companies expecting a “soft patch” phase was at the same level as in the previous survey, the percentage of companies expecting a “worsening” phase (29.4%) increased to such a level for the first time since the outlook for 2013. Companies that are more cautious about the future of the economy than one year ago are rapidly increasing.
- 3 With respect to causes of concerns for the economy in 2019, the “consumption tax system” was highest (55.3%, an increase of 29.6 points compared to the previous survey), followed by a “manpower shortage” and “crude oil and raw material prices (increase).” “Intensified trade friction” such as tariff increases between the US and China was at 14.5%.
- 4 With respect to the policy required for economic recovery, “elimination of manpower shortage” ranked top at 42.7%, followed by “measures to expand consumer spending,” “increase in income,” and “tax cuts for individuals,” etc. Consumption-related matters ranked high, followed by “employment measures” and “measures for consumption tax hike.” Companies which regard “childbirth and child care support,” “hiring of women and their promotion,” “hiring of the elderly,” and “expansion of foreign workers” as important measures were at around 10%.