Japan's Big Manufacturers Are Probably More Pessimistic Than Reported

japanese man smoking cigarette

Photo: tinou bao/Flickr

Earlier today, we learned that Japan’s Tankan index registered at -3.  Tankan is based on a survey of Japan’s largest manufacturers.When the number is negative, it indicates that pessimists outnumber optimists.

SocGen economist Katahiro Kiyoko thinks it’s likely that the report may have actually underestimated pessimism in the region.  From a new note:

Political tension between China over the disputed islands became an issue after 14 September, and it is likely that the majority of companies had already submitted their survey before the tension became a large concern. Therefore, in our view, the real business sentiment could turn out to be worse than what it appears in the survey result.

Japan is an export-driven economy that depends heavily on its trading activity with China.

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