Survey of Corporate Attitudes Toward Capital Investment for 2020
Capital investment decreases markedly from last year, although 52.8% of companies planned to do so
— Rapid increase in companies citing “the future cannot be foreseen” as the reason for not making capital investments —
With respect to capital investment trends, demands for labor saving and efficiency to improve productivity are expected through progress in work-style reforms, etc., while there are concerns that uncertainty about the outlook will heighten, such as with the slowdown in overseas economies and the impact of COVID-19, and that capital investment may be adversely affected. The government is adopting capital investment promotion measures targeting large-sized companies in the “Package of Tax Revisions for 2020,” and is also promoting capital investment support, etc., as COVID-19 subsidized projects for SMEs.
Therefore, Teikoku Databank has conducted a survey of corporate attitudes toward capital investment plans, etc. for 2020. This survey was conducted in conjunction with the April 2020 TDB Trends Research.
*Survey period: April 16 – 30, 2020; Companies Surveyed: 23,672; Valid Responses: 11,961 (Response Rate: 50.5%). The survey of capital investment has been conducted every April since April 2017, and this is the 4th such survey.
*Details of this survey can be found on the dedicated Economic Trend Survey HP (http://www.tdb-di.com).
Primary points of survey results(summary)
- 1 Companies responding that they “have” plans to make capital investments in 2020 decreased by 9.5 points from that in the previous survey (April 2019), to 52.8%. By size, any size companies responding that they have plans decreased from last year. By industry, “agriculture, forestry and fisheries,” “manufacturing,” “wholesale” and “retail” in particular showed large decreases. On the other hand, those responding that they “have no plans” increased by 8.4 points from that in the previous survey, to 38.0%.
- 2 With respect to capital investment details, “replacement of equipment” was top (40.4%), followed by “maintenance and repair of existing equipment” (31.5%), “informatization-related (IT investments)” (31.2%), and “labor saving/rationalization” (28.5%). The percentage for items pertaining to existing equipment has decreased despite being at a high level, but companies that make capital investments for the purpose of improving productivity are increasing. Amid ongoing self-restraint in leaving one’s home, there were many opinions about introducing telework.
- 3 With respect to capital procurement methods, “own resources” accounted for the highest percentage (44.2%). In particular, the percentage is high in companies with over 300 employees. In second place, ”long-term borrowing from a financial institution” was also high (31.3%).
- 4 Reasons for not making capital investments included, “the future cannot be foreseen” (64.4%) at the top, followed by “equipment in its current state is at the appropriate level” (25.3%), and “income commensurate with the investment cannot be secured” (20.1%). SMEs particularly had higher percentages of “income commensurate with the investment cannot be secured,” “the burden of borrowing is large,” and “cash on hand is small” than did the large companies, and the results show the severity of the current business environment.