Pessimism has grown among Japanese firms over future business conditions in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern part of the country March 11, the Bank of Japan said Monday.
The central bank released the results of its closely watched "tankan" quarterly survey of business sentiment Friday, but a little more than 70 percent of the responses to the survey had been received before the twin natural disasters.
The BOJ took the unusual step of dividing the responses between those received before and after the disasters to reflect their impact and that of the subsequent nuclear crisis on the country's business sentiment. The two versions of the survey were released Monday.
The post-March 11 version of the survey shows Japanese firms more pessimistic about business conditions in the coming three months. The diffusion index for large manufacturers for June worsened to minus 2, compared with plus 2 in the full survey released on Friday, from plus 6 for the full survey in the previous month.
The index reading represents the percentage of companies saying business conditions are "favorable" minus those saying business conditions are "unfavorable."
The Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Friday sales of new autos in the country, excluding mini-vehicles, plunged 37 percent in March from a year earlier to 279,389, the lowest level for the month in 42 years.
The disasters forced many factories in a wide range of industries, including those of Toyota Motor and Sony, to stop production due to power outages and a shortage of parts. They also directly affected many parts makers' plants, causing disruptions to global supply chains.
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