Thursday, December 15, 2011

Japan business mood turns pessimistic - BOJ tankan

TOKYO (Dec 15): Big Japanese manufacturers turned pessimistic about business conditions in the fourth quarter, a closely watched Bank of Japan survey showed on Thursday, with confidence hurt by Europe's debt crisis, a strong yen and slowing global growth.

The headline index for big manufacturers' sentiment was minus 4 in December, down from plus 2 in September and lower than the median market forecast for minus 2, the central bank's quarterly tankan survey showed.

Big manufacturers expect conditions to worsen further over the next three months, with the index for March seen at minus 5 compared with a median forecast of minus 3.

The survey also showed big firms plan to increase their capital spending by 1.4 percent in the financial year to March 2012, less than the median forecast for a 2.5 percent rise, the survey showed.

The sentiment indexes are derived by subtracting the percentage of respondents who say conditions are poor from those who say they are good. A negative reading means pessimists outnumbered optimists. - Reuters

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