Japan March Sentiment Slumps On Services

Japan’s current sentiment index posted a second straight drop
in March, pressured by retail sales, services and eating and drinking services,
a key government survey released Wednesday showed.

The survey indicates whether respondents with jobs most sensitive to
economic conditions — taxi and truck drivers, department-store sales staff and
restaurant and shop owners — think economic conditions have improved or
worsened over the last three months.

These are the key points from the latest Economy Watchers Survey, conducted
by the Cabinet Office between March 25 and March 31, after the impact of the
coronavirus worsened.

–Restaurants and retailers were among the hardest-hit businesses in the
poll, which targeted roughly 2,000 people, including store managers and taxi

–The Economy Watchers sentiment index for Japan’s current economic climate
fell 13.2 points to 14.2 in March a seasonally adjusted basis, after falling
14.5 points to 27.4 in February.

–The Watchers outlook index for two to three months ahead showed a fourth
straight drop in March, falling 5.8 points to 18.8 after falling 17.2 points to
24.6 in February.

–The Cabinet Office lowered its overall economic assessment based on the
Economy Watchers Survey, saying, “Conditions are very severe due to the impact
of the coronavirus,” adding “looking ahead, the severity will increase further.”