The index for big manufacturers' sentiment in Japan was unchanged at +19 in the fourth quarter of 2018, following three consecutive periods of deterioration and slightly above market expectations of +17, the Bank of Japan's closely watched quarterly "tankan" survey showed. Morale was unchanged among enterprises producing pulp & paper, iron & steel, food & beverages, and electrical machinery; while sentiment softened among producers of lumber & wood products, non-ferrous metals, general-purpose machinery, production machinery, business oriented machinery, and motor vehicles. By contrast, confidence improved among producers of textiles, chemicals, petroleum & coal products, ceramics, stone & clay, processed metals, and shipbuilding & heavy machinery. Meanwhile, big firms plan to raise their capital spending by 14.3 percent in the financial year to March 2019, compared with expectations of 12.7 percent. Among non-manufacturing large firms, sentiment rose to +24 from +22 in Q3. Business Confidence in Japan averaged 1.41 Index Points from 1983 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 53 Index Points in the second quarter of 1989 and a record low of -58 Index Points in the first quarter of 2009.
Business Confidence in Japan is expected to be 17.00 Index Points by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Business Confidence in Japan to stand at 18.30 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Japan Business Confidence is projected to trend around 2.00 Index Points in 2020, according to our econometric models.