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The 151st Survey of SME Business Conditions (January-March 2018) Released

The Survey of SME Business Conditions is a quarterly survey conducted by the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, targeting about 19,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Japan in cooperation with business management advisors from commerce and industry, chambers of commerce, and researchers from the National Federation of Small Business Associations.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (SMEA) and the organization jointly compiled the business achievements (diffusion indices, or DIs) of SMEs for the January-March 2018 period and the forecasts (DIs) for the April-June 2018 period concerning SME business conditions, sales amounts, ordinary profits, and other data.

Key point of the survey results

The recent business conditions of small and medium enterprises show moderate improvement, while progress in some industries appears to have paused. The SMEA and the organization hereby release the results.

(1) From January to March 2018, the business conditions DI for all industries was -13.9 (up by 0.5 points from the previous quarter), showing an increase for two consecutive quarters.

(2) The business conditions DI for the manufacturing sector was -10.1 (down by 2.2 points from the previous quarter), showing a decrease for the first time in two quarters. Looking at the business conditions DI of each industry, improvements were seen in four industries ( the ceramic, stone, and clay products, food, chemical, and wood and wooden products industries), while the DIs decreased in ten industries (the furniture and accessories, transportation equipment, iron and steel, non-ferrous metal, pulp, paper and paper products, machinery equipment, metal products, electrical & information communication equipment and electronic parts, printing, other manufacturing and textile industries).

(3) The business conditions DI for the non-manufacturing sector was -15.3 (up by 1.3 points from the previous quarter), showing an increase for the first time in three quarters. Looking at the business conditions DI of each industry, improvements were seen in the retail trade and construction industries, while the DIs remained flat in the wholesale industry and decreased in the service industry.

(4) The financing DI of all industries was -11.8 (down by 0.4 points from the previous quarter), showing a decrease for two consecutive quarters, while the DI measuring long-term financing difficulty and the DI measuring short-term financing difficulty were -2.4 (down by 0.3 points from the previous quarter), showing an increase for the first time in 18 quarters, and -0.4 (down by 0.1 points from the previous quarter), showing a decrease for the first time in four quarters, respectively.

Release date

March 28, 2018

Division in Charge

Research Office, Policy Planning Division, Business Environment Department, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency

Related website

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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