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The 161st Survey of SME Business Conditions (July-September 2020) Released

September 30, 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 records of business achievements (diffusion indices, or DIs) of SMEs for the July-September 2020 period and the forecasts (DIs) for the October-December 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 showed signs of picking up and increased for the first time in seven quarters.

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

Nationwide business conditions

  1. From July to September 2020, the business conditions DI for all industries was -34.1 (up by 30.0 points from the previous quarter), showing an increase for the first time in seven quarters.

  2. The business conditions DI for the manufacturing sector was -40.8 (up by 25.1 points from the previous quarter), showing an increase for the first time in nine quarters. Looking at the business conditions DI of each industry, the DIs increased in all industries of the manufacturing sector, including the food, pulp, paper and paper products and transportation equipment industries.

  3. The business conditions DI for the non-manufacturing sector was -32.1 (up by 31.4 points from the previous quarter), showing an increase for the first time in seven quarters. Looking at the business conditions DI of each industry, the DIs increased in all industries of services, retail trade, wholesale and construction.

  4. The DI measuring long-term financing difficulty was -1.7 (up by 2.2 points from the previous quarter), showing an increase for two consecutive quarters, and the DI measuring short-term financing difficulty was -2.4 (up by 1.9 points from the previous quarter), showing an increase for the first time in five quarters.

Region-based business conditions

  1. The business conditions DI for all industries by region increased in the Chugoku, Kinki, Chubu, Shikoku, Kanto, Tohoku, Kyushu/Okinawa, and Hokkaido regions.

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

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

Related material

Link to related information

Division in Charge

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

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