The Straits Times
Published on Nov 15, 2012

Japan manufacturing outlook down 4th month in row


TOKYO (REUTERS) - Sentiment among Japanese manufacturers fell for a fourth straight month, a Reuters poll showed, providing more evidence that the world's third-biggest economy is slipping into recession amid a global slowdown and tensions with China.

The monthly poll, which closely correlates with the Bank of Japan's quarterly tankan survey, comes after data this week showed the economy shrank 0.9 percent in July-September, the first contraction in three quarters.

Sentiment among non-manufacturers including retailers and construction firms tumbled in November after holding steady this year, a sign that private consumption is losing momentum after a recovery led by rebuilding from last year's earthquake and tsunami.

A slew of weak data is likely to keep the central bank under pressure to ease monetary policy further after having boosted monetary stimulus for a second straight month in October as a strong yen and weak global demand threatened the export-reliant economy.