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PACIFIC WATCH

Japan

October 24, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Small Firms Hampered by Yen's Strength: Only 5% of Japan's small companies say they can break even if the yen remains at between 95 and 100 to the dollar, according to a survey by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency. In mid-September, the ministry surveyed 137 small export-dependent companies and 550 other small companies nationwide. Asked at which exchange rate they can break even, 28.8% of the firms said the 105-110 yen level and 18.6% said the 115-120 yen level. None said it could make a profit if the dollar falls below 90 yen. Companies are trying to counter the yen's strength by increasing domestic sales, cutting costs and developing new products, the survey said. The dollar finished at 96.68 yen in Tokyo trading on Friday.

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