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  5. The 155th Survey of SME Business Conditions (January-March 2019) Released

The 155th Survey of SME Business Conditions (January-March 2019) Released

March 28, 2019

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, Japan, targeting about 19,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Japan in cooperation with business management advisors from commercial and industrial associations and chambers of commerce and industry, and researchers from the National Federation of Small Business Associations.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (SMEA) and the organization jointly compiled business achievements (diffusion indices, or DIs) of SMEs for the January-March 2019 period and the forecasts (DIs) for the April-June 2019 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 basically tend to show moderate improvement, while progress in some industries appears to have paused.

The uncertainty of the overseas economy, the impact of a warmer winter and other factors are considered to have caused such conditions.

  1. From January to March 2019, the business conditions DI for all industries was -14.9 (down by 1.1 points from the previous quarter), showing a decrease for the first time in two quarters.
  2. The business conditions DI for the manufacturing sector was -14.5 (down by 4.3 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, including the pulp, paper and paper products, wood and wooden products and food products industries, while the DIs for 10 industries, including the electrical & information communication equipment and electronic parts, iron & steel and non-ferrous metals, transportation equipment, metal products and machinery industries, decreased.
  3. The business conditions DI for the non-manufacturing sector was -15.0, remaining the same from the previous quarter: 0.0 points. Looking at the business conditions DI of each industry, improvements were seen in the service and retail trade industries, while the DIs decreased in the wholesale and construction industries.
  4. The financing DI of all industries was -11.1 (up by 0.3 points from the previous quarter), having increased for two consecutive quarters, while the DI measuring long-term financing difficulty and the DI measuring short-term financing difficulty were -3.0 (down by 0.7 points from the previous quarter) and -0.9 (down by 0.6 points from the previous quarter), respectively, both of which have decreased for the first time in two quarters.

Division in Charge

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