The Bank of Japan's Tankan index for big manufacturers' sentiment fell to a two-year low of 12 in the first quarter 2019 from 19 in the previous three-month period and below market consensus of 14. Sentiment softened among enterprises producing: chemicals (12 vs 24 in Q4); petroleum & coal products (6 vs 25); processed metals (8 vs 18); production machinery (31 vs 40); general-purpose machinery (20 vs 47); electrical machinery (9 vs 21); food & beverages (11 vs 12); lumber & wood products (-6 vs 0); pulp & paper (-11 vs 4); and non-ferrous metals (-9 vs 12). In contrast, confidence rose for firms producing: iron & steel (12 vs 7); and motor vehicles (15 vs 14), while was unchanged for firms producing textiles (at 3) and business oriented machinery (at 13). Meanwhile, big firms plan to raise their capital spending by 1.2 percent in Q1, much softer than a 14.3 percent rise in Q4. Among non-manufacturing large firms, sentiment also declined to a two-year low of 21. Business Confidence in Japan averaged 1.48 Index Points from 1983 until 2019, 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 8.00 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 12.00 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.