March 25, 2016 / 6:45 AM / in 3 years

BOJ tankan likely show biz mood worsens due to strong yen, global economy

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese manufacturers’ confidence probably deteriorated to the lowest in nearly three years and it is expected to worsen in the coming quarter due to exporters concern over a strong yen and worries over the global economy, a Reuters poll showed.

An engineer makes an arm rail for residential buildings inside a metal processing factory at an industrial zone in downtown Tokyo, Japan, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Big firms are likely slash their capital spending plan for the new fiscal year beginning in April, according to the survey.

Firms tend to be cautious in their spending plans at this time of year, but concern over the outlook for profits makes it unlikely that they will become more ambitious in their capital expenditure budgets later in the year, analysts said.

Date due for release next week includes industrial production, which likely declined for the first time in two months in February due to weak demand in Japan and overseas.

The Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan business sentiment survey was expected to show the headline index for big manufacturers’ sentiment slipped by 4 points to plus 8 points from plus 12 points three months ago, the poll of 23 economists showed.

It would be the lowest reading since the June 2013 survey when big manufacturers’ mood stood at plus 4 points.

“Worsening sentiment among big manufacturers likely became apparent due to the economic slowdown overseas and the yen’s sharp appreciation,” Tsuyoshi Ueno, senior economist at NLI Research Institute said in the survey.

“Domestic consumer spending in the doldrums is depressing the mood among non-manufacturers, but strong demand from foreign visitors and the benefits of the BOJ’s negative interest rate on the real estate industry will probably moderate that pressure to some degree.”

The sentiment index for big non-manufacturers was expected to slip to plus 24 from plus 25 three months ago, worsening for the first time since the September 2014 survey.

The poll also showed the sentiment of both manufacturers’ and non-manufacturers will worsen in the coming three months due to uncertainty over the market outlook and the state of emerging economies, as well as sluggish wage recovery.

Big firms were forecast to slash their capital spending plan by 0.7 percent for the coming fiscal year, according to the poll.

The BOJ will released the tankan survey at 8:50 a.m. on April 1 (2350 GMT March 31).

Earlier this week, the Reuters Tankan monthly survey, which shows a close correlation with the BOJ’s quarterly tankan survey, showed Japanese manufacturers’ confidence waned in March and was unlikely to change much over the next three months.

The poll also found industrial production, which will be released on Wednesday, likely fell 6.0 percent in February from the previous month after it increased 3.7 percent in January.

Retail sales were seen rising 1.7 percent in February from a year earlier after a revised 0.2 percent slip in January.

Household spending was likely down 1.5 percent in February, falling for a sixth straight month.

The jobs-applicants ratio probably improved further at 1.29 in February, its highest since December 1991, and the jobless rate was probably steady at 3.2 percent last month, the poll showed.

The internal affairs ministry will release household spending and jobs related data at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and the trade ministry will announce retail sales at 8:50 a.m. on the same day.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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