Information Releases

Survey of Corporate Attitudes Toward the Economic Outlook for 2020

37.2% of companies expect the economy “worsens” in 2020
— “Elimination of labor shortage” ranks top for the second consecutive year as the policy required for economic recovery —


The second preliminary estimates of real GDP growth for July – September 2019, announced on December 9, 2019, increased 0.4% compared to the previous period (April – June) (annualized 1.8% increase), and showed positive growth for the fourth consecutive quarter. Last-minute demand before the consumption tax rate increase also had a positive impact on top of capital investment, such as labor-saving investments, and public works and Olympics-related construction demand. On the other hand, there are causes for concern, such as a series of natural disasters, global economic trends, and a serious labor shortage. The disparity in business confidence is seen by industry and region.

Teikoku Databank has conducted a survey of corporate attitudes toward the economic trends for 2019, and the economic outlook for 2020. This survey was conducted in conjunction with the November 2019 TDB Trends Research.

*Survey period: November 18 – November 30, 2019; Companies Surveyed: 23,678; Valid Responses: 10,046 (Response Rate: 42.4%). The survey for the economic outlook has been conducted every year since November 2006, and this is the 14th survey

*Details of this survey can be found on the dedicated Economic Trend Survey HP. (

Primary points of survey results(summary)

  1. 1 Companies considering the economic trends for 2019 to be in a “recovery” phase stood at 3.7%, remaining at a single-digit percentage for the second consecutive year. On the other hand, companies considering the trends to be in a “soft patch” phase reached nearly half, at 47.1%, while 31.2% of companies considered the trends to be in a “worsening” phase,” an increase of 14.0 points from the previous survey (in November 2018), and up to the 30% range for the first time in seven years.
  2. 2 Companies expecting a “recovery” phase for the economic outlook for 2020 stood at 6.8%, remaining at a single-digit percentage for the second consecutive year. Although 32.8% of companies expect a “soft patch” phase, a decrease from the previous survey (38.2%), 37.2% of companies expect a “worsening” phase, an increase for the second consecutive year, and the third highest level ever. This showed companies are more concerned about the severe economic outlook than one year ago.
  3. 3 With respect to causes of concern about the economy in 2020, a “labor shortage” ranked top at 46.2% (multiple answers up to 3), followed by the “Chinese economy” at over 30% (34.8%), “crude oil and raw material prices (increase)” (24.9%), the “US economy” (22.8%), and the “consumption tax system” (22.1%).
  4. 4 With respect to the policy required for economic recovery, “elimination of labor shortage” ranked top at 39.6% (multiple answers), or nearly 40%, followed by “measures to expand consumer spending” (33.8%), “increase in income” (31.3%), “increase in public works spending” (26.7%), and “tax cuts for individuals” (26.5%). On the other hand, companies putting importance on disaster policy were also seen.
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