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Economy in Brief

Japan Tankan is Tankin'
by Robert Brusca October 1, 2008

Japan’s tankan survey is very weak and showing a continuing slide across the various size-class of respondents as well as across industries. It is the LARGE company module of this survey that tends to get the headlines. But the survey itself is rife with weakness even outside of the big-company survey.

The Large company survey shows manufacturing, nonmanufaturing and the total industry indices at their range lows since early 2004. Large company industry readings all are at sample period lows except for construction and personal services (each in the lower 35% of their respective ranges) and for Restaurants & Hotels that are still very weak in the bottom 2.6% of their range.

The current period manufacturing index has an outright negative reading of -3. For nonmanufacturing the reading is a +1. The total industry reading is 0.

The outlook responses are at sample period lows for all sized classes of companies. In short it is a very weak Tankan that is both weak overall and across the board. Weakness is taking no prisoners.

Tankan Results Large Enterprises
  Readings Averages PERCENTILES
  Q3-08 Q2-08 Q1-08 Q4-07 1-Y Avg Since Q3'03 Since Q1'04
MFG -3.0 5.0 11.0 19.0 1.0 17.8 0.0%
NonMFG 1.0 10.0 12.0 16.0 5.5 16.4 0.0%
Total Industry 0.0 7.0 12.0 17.0 3.5 17.1 0.0%
Construction -7.0 -1.0 -9.0 -2.0 -4.0 -1.4 35.3%
Real Estate 5.0 22.0 21.0 37.0 13.5 36.1 0.0%
Wholesale 11.0 12.0 14.0 12.0 11.5 18.6 0.0%
Retail -5.0 0.0 0.0 4.0 -2.5 8.1 0.0%
Transportation 6.0 16.0 17.0 14.0 11.0 16.8 0.0%
Services 4 Biz 4.0 20.0 22.0 31.0 12.0 24.5 0.0%
Personal Service 6.0 10.0 13.0 19.0 8.0 12.2 35.0%
Restaurants & Hotels -13.0 -14.0 -3.0 12.0 -13.5 7.6 2.6%
Forecast
  Q4-08 Q3-08 Q2-08 Q1-08 1-Y Avg Since Q3'03 Since Q1'04
MFG-Outlook -4.0 4.0 7.0 15.0 5.5 16.0 0.0%
NonMFG-Outlook -1.0 8.0 13.0 15.0 8.8 16.4 0.0%
All Industry-Outlook -2.0 6.0 10.0 16.0 7.5 16.1 0.0%
Tankan Results Medium Enterprises
  Q3-08 Q2-08 Q1-08 1-Y Avg 1-Y Avg Since Q3'03 Since Q1'04
MFG -8.0 -2.0 5.0 1.3 1.3 8.8 0.0%
NonMFG -12.0 -5.0 -3.0 -4.5 -4.5 1.2 0.0%
Forecast
  Q4-08 Q3-08 Q2-08 Q1-08 1-Y Avg Since Q3'03 Since Q1'04
MFG-Outlook -12.0 -5.0 -1.0 6.0 -3.0 6.4 0.0%
NonMFG-Outlook -17.0 -10.0 -6.0 -3.0 -9.0 0.1 0.0%
All Industry-Outlook -15.0 -9.0 -4.0 0.0 -7.0 2.6 0.0%
Tankan Results Small Enterprises
  Q4-08 Q3-08 Q2-08 Q1-08 1-Y Avg Since Q3'03 Since Q1'04
MFG -17.0 -10.0 -6.0 -13.5 -13.5 1.8 0.0%
NonMFG -24.0 -20.0 -15.0 -22.0 -22.0 -10.8 0.0%
Total Industry -24.0 -20.0 -15.0 -22.0 -22.0 -10.8 0.0%
Forecast
  Q4-08 Q3-08 Q2-08 Q1-08 1-Y Avg Since Q3'03 Since Q1'04
MFG-Outlook -25.0 -15.0 -9.0 -3.0 -13.0 0.1 0.0%
NonMFG-Outlook -31.0 -27.0 -21.0 -17.0 -24.0 -14.1 0.0%
All Industry-Outlook -29.0 -22.0 -17.0 -12.0 -20.0 -8.9 0.0%
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