Business sentiment in Japan weakened notably in three months to December, the quarterly survey by the Ministry of Finance and the Cabinet office showed Thursday.
The Business Survey Index, or BSI, for all industrial fell to 4.6 points from 9.6 in the third quarter. Nonetheless, it is forecast to rise to 5.6 points in the coming quarter.
Confidence amongst manufacturers and non-manufacturers deteriorated in the fourth quarter. The BSI for manufacturing slid to 3.8 from 11.0 and that for non-manufacturing decreased to 5 from 8.9.
However, the BSI for manufacturers is seen improving to 4.0 and the score for non-manufacturing to rise to 6.4 points in the first quarter of 2016.
Compared with the previous year, profits are forecast to grow 4.8 percent this fiscal and they plan to raise investment by 7.5 percent.