Japan’s Corporate Managers Losing Hope
Japan’s corporate managers see little hope for a turnaround in sales and profits before this summer as the nation slides toward recession, the Bank of Japan’s tankan survey of business managers shows. The quarterly survey’s main index, covering 705 major manufacturers, was minus 31. That was much worse than the minus 15 the companies expected in the last survey in December. The group hasn’t been this pessimistic since the July-September quarter of 1994. The deterioration in confidence--negative numbers show pessimists outnumber optimists--reflects moves by companies such as Toshiba Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and others to slash output, wages and hiring as they watch sales stagnate at home and exports within Asian fall.