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Japanese Businesses Pessimistic on Economy

April 30, 1998|Associated Press

Pessimism is spreading in Japan's business community despite a massive stimulus package announced by the government, a survey indicated. More than 90% of 200 major Japanese companies surveyed believe Japan won't come anywhere near its 1.9% gross domestic product growth target for this fiscal year, according to the survey conducted earlier this month by the Asahi newspaper. The Asahi, one of Japan's largest newspapers, also reported 53.5% of the company representatives, mostly presidents or CEOs, described the economy as "worsening," up from 45% in the last survey conducted in January. Including the 33% who described the economy as "declining slowly," nearly 90% of company executives believe the economy is in recession, the paper said. The pessimism in the business community is bad news for the government, which has insisted that its economic stimulus package will ensure the 1.9% growth target is met.

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