Capital spending by Japanese firms rose 2.8 percent from a year earlier in the October-December period to 9.71 trillion yen (about $81 billion), the government said Monday, indicating companies’ willingness to keep increasing investment despite sluggish consumer spending.
Data released by the Finance Ministry also showed pretax profit at businesses in all sectors covered by its poll surged 11.6 percent to 18.07 trillion yen, the highest among comparable data available since 1954, largely helped by a weaker yen.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, business investment, excluding spending on software, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent from the July-September period. But economists say the weaker-than-expected results could slightly push down Japan’s economic growth figure.
The data will be used to calculate revised gross domestic product data for the final quarter of 2014 that the Cabinet Office will release March 9.
In the October-December period, business investment by all nonfinancial sectors for purposes such as building plants and introducing new equipment increased for the seventh consecutive quarterly rise. The increase was smaller than a 5.5 percent gain in the previous quarter.