Tankan expected to improve for manufacturers

Think tanks predict the Bank of Japan's business sentiment survey will return to pre-pandemic levels for large manufacturers, but they expect other businesses, including hotels and restaurants, to see a slower pace of recovery.

The latest quarterly Tankan survey is due out on April 1. It polls executives at roughly 10,000 businesses on how they feel about the economy.

Fifteen private-sector research institutes have released forecasts for the survey. They expect the index for major manufacturers to improve from minus 10 points in December on the back of growing exports to China and elsewhere.

The forecasts predict the index will have a median of 0 for large firms, which would be the same level as December 2019, before the coronavirus started spreading.

But they also say the picture will be less rosy for other businesses. Non-manufacturers are expected to be a median of minus 5 points, just as in the December survey.

Analysts believe the state of emergency for Tokyo and nearby prefectures will weigh more heavily on the firms in the survey.