June 27, 2018
The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency
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 April-June 2018 period and the forecasts (DIs) for the July-September 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. For further details, see the Appendix attached to the Japanese language news release.(PDF:703KB)
- From April to June 2018, the business conditions DI for all industries was -14.0 (down by 0.1 points from the previous quarter), showing a decrease for the first time in three quarters.
- The business conditions DI for the manufacturing sector was -8.5 (up by 1.6 points from the previous quarter), showing an increase for the first time in two quarters. Looking at the business conditions DI of each industry, improvements were seen in eight industries: i) iron & steel and non-ferrous metals, ii) pulp, paper and paper products, iii) ceramic, stone and clay products, iv) furniture and accessories, v) machinery equipment, vi) transportation equipment, vii) printing, and viii) wood and wooden products industries. The DIs decreased for the following six industries: i) chemical, ii) electrical & information communication equipment, iii) metal products, iv) miscellaneous manufacturing, v) food, and vi) textile industries.
- The business conditions DI for the non-manufacturing sector was -15.9 (down by 0.6 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 the wholesale, services and construction industries, while the DIs decreased in the retail industry.
- The financing DI of all industries was -11.3 (up by 0.5 points from the previous quarter), showing an increase for the first time in three quarters, while the DI measuring long-term financing difficulty and the DI measuring short-term financing difficulty were -2.7 (down by 0.3 points from the previous quarter), showing a decrease for two consecutive quarters, and -0.4 (remaining the same as those of the previous quarter, i.e., 0.0 points), respectively.
Division in Charge
Research Office, Policy Planning Division, Business Environment Department, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency