Capital investment up for first time in 5 quarters

A government survey shows capital investment by Japanese companies increased for the first time in 5 quarters. The gains came during the April-to-June period as demand picked up.

About 22,000 firms responded to the quarterly survey conducted by the Finance Ministry.

It says capital investment by companies outside the financial and insurance sectors stood at about 10.1 trillion yen, or about 92 billion dollars, which is an increase of 5.3 percent in yen terms from the same quarter last year.

Investments by manufacturers rose 4 percent as they boosted semiconductor production capacity.
Investments by non-manufacturers also rose 5.9 percent.
Pretax profits in the quarter hit the second-highest figure since the survey started, totaling nearly 24.1 trillion yen, or about 218 billion dollars. The figure is an increase of almost 94 percent in yen terms and comes on robust sales of automobiles and communications equipment.

Figures for fiscal 2020 were also released and show the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales decreased 8.1 percent from the previous fiscal year, marking the second-largest drop. Pretax profits also sank 12 percent.