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  5. The 159th Survey of SME Business Conditions (January-March 2020) Released

The 159th Survey of SME Business Conditions (January-March 2020) Released

March 27, 2020

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 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 the business achievements (diffusion indices, or DIs) of SMEs for the January-March 2020 period and the forecasts (DIs) for the April-June 2020 period concerning SME business conditions, sales amounts, ordinary profits, and other data.

Key point of the survey results

The business conditions DI for SMEs decreased for five consecutive quarters.

For details, see the Appendix. The following are excerpts from it.

Nationwide business conditions

  1. From January to March 2020, the business conditions DI for all industries was -24.4 (down by 3.3 points from the previous quarter), showing a decrease for five consecutive quarters.

  2. The business conditions DI for the manufacturing sector was -27.4 (down by 5.0 points from the previous quarter), showing a decrease for seven consecutive quarters. Looking at the business conditions DI for each industry, the DIs increased in the transportation equipment industry, while a decrease was seen in 13 industries, including the pulp, paper and paper products, textile, wood and wooden products and ceramic, stone and clay products industries.

  3. The business conditions DI for the non-manufacturing sector was -23.5 (down by 2.9 points from the previous quarter), having decreased for four consecutive quarters. Looking at the business conditions DI for each industry, the DIs increased in the retail trade industry, while a decrease was seen in the wholesale, services and construction industries.

  4. The financing DI for all industries was -16.6 (down by 2.6 points from the previous quarter), having decreased for four consecutive quarters. Looking at the financing DI for each industry, the manufacturing sector showed a decrease of -18.0 (down by 3.7 points from the previous quarter), and the non-manufacturing sector showed a decrease of -16.2 (down by 2.3 points from the previous quarter). The DI measuring long-term financing difficulty was -4.6 (down by 1.8 points from the previous quarter), a decrease for two consecutive quarters, and the DI measuring short-term financing difficulty was -2.4 (down by 1.4 points from the previous quarter), a decrease for three consecutive quarters.

Region-based business conditions

  1. The business conditions DI for all industries by region decreased in all of the Hokkaido, Kinki, Shikoku, Tohoku, Chubu, Kyushu/Okinawa, Kanto and Chugoku regions. In particular, the DI in the Hokkaido region decreased by 10.2 points from the previous quarter, and the negative gap in the region increased.

  2. The business conditions DI for the manufacturing sector by region decreased in all regions across Japan.

  3. The business conditions DI for the non-manufacturing sector by region decreased in all regions across Japan.

Related Document

Division in Charge

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

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