Japan’s Manufacturers’ Sentiment Sags in Q4

Confidence of Japan’s large manufacturers declined in the fourth quarter as a recession offset a boost from a weaker yen, underlining the economic challenges facing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his election win.

The Tankan’s big manufacturer index slipped to 12 in December from 13 in September, the Bank of Japan said today, lower than the median estimate of 13 in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. The index is forecast to drop to 9 in March.

A recession and an election victory that puts pressure on Abe to deliver on promised growth-boosting reforms are raising the stakes for his efforts to revive the world’s third-biggest economy. Burdened by debt, the government is counting on companies to increase investment and wages to fuel a recovery.


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