Thursday, September 18, 2008

Japan In Recession: Survey Says

Source : AFP, Thu, Sep 18, 2008

TOKYO - SOME 85 per cent of major Japanese companies believe the nation is already in recession and most say the economy would only recover late next year, according to a survey published on Thursday.

About 71 per cent of 209 leading companies polled said the world's second largest economy was in a gradual recession and 14 per cent said it was in a definite recession, the Tokyo Shimbun said.

The latest poll, conducted from late August to mid-September, was a sharp contrast to the previous survey in April, when 61 per cent saw the economy as flat and 19 per cent said it was going down.

As for concerns, the companies cited price rises in oil and other commodities, the course of the US economy, weakening consumer spending and the spread of the subprime mortgage problems stemming from the United States.

The survey found virtually no one who believed the economy would recover this year.

Fifty-one per cent said it would pick up in the second half of 2009 and 19 per cent in the April-June quarter.

Japan's economy contracted in the second quarter by a revised 3.0 per cent on an annual basis.

Economist generally define a recession as two quarters of negative growth.

The Bank of Japan said on Wednesday that it expected the economy to remain sluggish for now amid global market turmoil but also voiced relief that commodity prices seemed to be stabilising.

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