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The 139th Business Conditions (January-March 2015)

Survey Procedures

  Number of companies surveyed Number of valid response companies Response rate (%)
Manufacturing 4,642 (24.5) 4,494 (24.6) 96.8
Construction 2,415 (12.7) 2,322 (12.7) 96.1
Wholesale trade 1,194 (6.3) 1,133 (6.2) 94.9
Retail trade 4,697 (24.8) 4,493 (24.6) 95.7
Services 6,001 (31.7) 5,809 (31.9) 96.8
Total 18,949 (100.0) 18,251 (100.0) 96.3

Note: Figures in parenthesis show the composition ratios (%)

(1) Date of the survey:
As of March 1, 2015
(2) Survey method:
Feedback given to management consultants belonging to the Commerce and Industry Association and Chamber of Commerce and Industry throughout the country, and to survey personnel of the Federation of Small Business Associations
(3) Companies surveyed:
The nationwide complement of small and medium-sized enterprises as defined in the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Basic Act
(4) Others
・For every quarter from April to June, the data in previous years is replaced with seasonally-adjusted data.
・The most recent long-term time series data is displayed on the website of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency as well as that of the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation

Business conditions DI

(1) All industries

For the January-March period of 2015, the business conditions DI for all industries was minus 17.8 (up 1.6 points from minus 19.4 for the previous quarter), proving a decrease in the negative margin.

The business conditions DI for manufacturing was minus 14.1 (up 0.3 points from minus 14.4 for the previous quarter), indicating a decrease in the negative margin. The business conditions DI for non-manufacturing was minus 19.3 (up 1.7 points from minus 21.0 for the previous quarter), showing a decrease in the negative margin.

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises

(2) Manufacturing

The business conditions DI for manufacturing was minus 14.1 (up 0.3 points from minus 14.4 for the previous quarter), indicating a decrease in the negative margin.

To be specific for the 14 industries in manufacturing, the DI became positive from a negative value for machinery and equipment: 0.2 (up 1.1 points from the previous quarter). The DI did not turn positive but the negative margin decreased for five industries, including minus 11.3 (up 17.9 points from the previous quarter) for pulp, paper and paper products and minus 12.0 (up 5.0 points from the previous quarter) for food. The DI leveled out for iron and steel and non-ferrous metals: minus 6.1 (unchanged from minus 6.1 for the previous quarter). The DI fell from a positive value to a negative value for chemical and allied products: minus 0.4 (down 1.4 points from the previous quarter). The DI remained negative with the negative margin increased for six industries, including minus 20.0 (down 5.2 points from the previous quarter) for textile mill products, minus 18.1 (down 4.3 points from the previous quarter) for furniture and fixtures, minus 11.0 (down 4.0 points from the previous quarter) for metal products, and minus 11.8 (down 3.1 points from the previous quarter) for transportation equipment.

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by industry (1)
(From January-March, 2012 to January-March, 2015)

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by industry (1)

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by industry (2)
(From January-March, 2012 to January-March, 2015)

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by industry (1)

(3) Non-manufacturing

The business conditions DI for non-manufacturing was minus 19.3 (up 1.7 points from minus 21.0 for the previous quarter), showing a decrease in the negative margin.

To be specific for industries, the DI remained negative with the negative margin decreased for three industries: minus 14.3 (up 5.6 points from the previous quarter) for wholesale trade, minus 15.7 (up 2.7 points from the previous quarter) for services, and minus 30.6 (up 1.5 points from the previous quarter) for retail trade. The DI remained negative with the negative margin increased for construction: minus 9.8 (down 1.3 points from the previous quarter).

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises
by industry
(From January-March, 2012 to January-March, 2015)

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by industry

To be specific for sectors in services, the DI remained negative with the negative margin decreased for some sectors, including minus 15.7 (up 8.6 points from the previous quarter) for eating and drinking places, minus 13.7 (up 6.9 points from the previous quarter) for services to business establishments including transportation and warehousing, and minus 8.4 (up 3.5 points from the previous quarter) for accommodations. Meanwhile, the DI remained negative with the negative margin increased for other sectors, including minus 8.7 (down 5.5 points from the previous quarter) for information and communications and advertising, and minus 7.9 (down 1.7 points from the previous quarter) for services to business establishments including professional and technical services.

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises engaged
in services industries by industry
(From January-March, 2012 to January-March, 2015)

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises engaged in services industries by industry

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by size of trade

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by size of trade

Financing DI

The financing DI for all industries was minus 14.5 (up 0.8 points from minus 15.3 for the previous quarter), indicating a decrease in the negative margin.

To be specific for industries, the DI remained negative with the negative margin decreased for both manufacturing and non-manufacturing: minus 12.2 (up 0.5 points from minus 12.7 for the previous quarter) and minus 15.1 (up 1.0 point from minus 16.1 for the previous quarter) respectively.

 

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by size of trade

Changes in the business conditions DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by size of trade

[Topics (1)] Trends in the materials/goods purchase unit prices DI, the unit sales price/per-customer sales DI, and the profit (ordinary profit) DI

For the current quarter, the materials/goods purchase unit prices DI (“rise” minus “fall” on a year-on-year basis) was 39.7 (down 5.6 points from 45.3 for the previous quarter), showing a decrease in the positive margin but still remaining at a high level. The unit sales price/per-customer sales DI (same as above) was minus 12.7 (down 0.6 points from minus 12.1 for the previous quarter), indicating an increase in the negative margin, and the profit (ordinary profit) DI (same as above) was minus 29.0 (down 0.3 points from minus 28.7 for the previous quarter), also showing an increase in the negative margin. Under such circumstances, rises in materials prices, etc. due to a cheaper yen must be closely watched in the future.

The materials/goods purchase unit prices DI, the unit sales price/per-customer sales DI and the ordinary profit DI (on a year-on-year basis)

The materials/goods purchase unit prices DI, the unit sales price/per-customer sales DI and the ordinary profit DI (on a year-on-year basis)

[Topics (2)] Changes in the excess or shortage of employees DI by industry

The excess or shortage of employees DI (“excess” minus “shortage” by current quarter level) decreased over the period from the middle to the end of last year. For the current quarter, the DI for all industries was minus 11.9 (up 0.6 points from minus 12.5 for the previous quarter), showing a decrease in the negative margin but still indicating a strong sense of shortage. To be specific for industries, the DI for construction and services in particular indicated strong feelings of shortage: minus 21.7 and minus 15.2 respectively.

Changes in excess or shortage of employees DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by industry

Changes in Excese or shortage of employees DI of small and medium-sized enterprises by industry