社説:日銀3月短観 「夜明け前」が一番暗い

(Mainichi Japan) April 2, 2009
Confidence in economy reflects darkest hour before dawn
社説:日銀3月短観 「夜明け前」が一番暗い

The "tankan" business confidence report for March, announced by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Wednesday, the first day of fiscal 2009, shows that Japanese companies' business confidence has plunged to the worst-ever level. One could hardly believe its contents as if it were an April Fool joke.
 新年度初日、エープリルフールと思いたくなるような「過去最悪」の日銀発表である。

A survey that the central bank conducted in March to compile the report clearly demonstrated that the economic downturn that began in autumn last year has sped up since the beginning of this year. At the same time, however, the report shows some signs that the economy will not plunge to further depths. It is hoped that companies will prepare to go on the offensive when the economy picks up sooner or later.
3月調査の「短観」は、昨秋以降の景気の落ち込みが、今年に入り一段と加速したことを印象付けた。だが同時に「底なしに悪くなっていく」との空気が緩みそうな気配も感じ取れる。企業には、いずれ訪れる「回復」をにらんだ攻めの準備を期待したい。

In particular, the tankan report shows that the business confidence of major companies that rely largely on exports for their profits rapidly worsened. According to trade statistics compiled by the Finance Ministry, Japan's exports early this year almost halved from the previous year. Specifically, exports posted 46 percent and 49 percent year-on-year decreases in January and February, respectively. Japan's automobile industry was hit especially hard by a decrease in external demand; car exports fell 70 percent in February from the year earlier.
 足元の景況感は、特に輸出型の大企業で急激な悪化が目立った。財務省の貿易統計によると、日本の輸出額は前年同月比で1月が46%減、2月が49%減とほぼ半減状態が続いている。特に2月の自動車輸出は7割も減った。3月短観を見ると、自動車業界(大企業)の景況感がマイナス92と際立って悪化している。

The March tankan report shows that major automakers' business confidence came to minus 92, significantly below minus 68 that the BOJ forecasted when it conducted a similar survey in December, demonstrating that the whole car industry has been shocked by drastic decreases in exports.
12月調査時の3月の予想値であるマイナス68を大幅に下回り、輸出激減のショックの大きさを物語っている。

However, it should be noted that the tankan suggests a glimmer of hope for recovery. The future business confidence of major manufacturers turned upward for the first time in about three years, with the indexes of automobile and electric machinery makers increasing by around 10 points. Many firms' forecasts for their profits and labor surplus for fiscal 2009 have hinted that the economy appeared to be bottoming out. Share prices in Tokyo reacted positively to the tankan report.
 とはいえ今回の短観に、小さいながらも明るい兆しが点在しているのも事実だ。例えば、先行きの業況判断が大企業製造業で約3年ぶりに改善した。自動車と電機は10ポイント前後の改善幅である。09年度の利益予想や雇用の過剰感の予想を見ても、底打ちの兆しがうかがえる。東京市場の株価もプラスに反応した。

It goes without saying that there are still uncertain factors in Japan's economic conditions and it appears likely to take a long time before one can be optimistic about an increase in jobs and income. The unemployment rate is feared to rise further. Therefore, the government should steadily implement measures to support the economy for the time being. To turn the potential of recovery into a reality, it is important for Japan to not only implement economic stimulus measures domestically but also firmly support emerging economies, including those in Asia.
 もちろん、まだまだ不確定要素が多いし、新規雇用の増加や所得の改善に展望が持てるようになるまで時間もかかりそうだ。失業率は一段の悪化が心配されている。政策による下支えは当分の間、手を緩めてはならない。回復の可能性を現実のものにするためにも、国内の景気対策に加え、アジアなど新興国の経済をしっかり支援することが大切である。

Company executives and employees should not overreact to the phrase, "a crisis that occurs only once every 100 years," which is heard on a regular basis. It is hoped that firms will develop new markets and make full use of their technology to improve the value of their products. They obviously have human resources that they have not fully utilized and high-level technology that is competitive in the international market.
 企業の経営者や従業員は、連日のように聞こえてくる「100年に1度の危機」という言葉に、過剰反応することはない。国内外を問わず、これまで挑戦してこなかった市場の開拓や、持ち前の技術を商品価値の向上にいかす工夫を続けてもらいたい。まだまだ活用できていない人材や国際的に競争力の高い技術が埋もれているはずである。

Numerous companies held their initiation ceremonies for newly hired employees on Wednesday.
 1日、多くの企業で入社式があった。

"The current difficult situation is a chance to achieve new advancements. We have begun proactive efforts toward a new phase of development," Fumio Otsubo, president of Panasonic Corp., told newcomers during its ceremony. His statement is an example of companies' moves in preparation for economic recovery. It is hoped that such trends will become predominant and widespread. Financial institutions are required to play a proactive role in searching for buds of growth and financially supporting them.
「現在の難局は新たな発展を遂げるチャンス。次の成長に向け積極的な挑戦を始めている」。大坪文雄パナソニック社長の訓示は回復を見据えた動きを感じさせる例の一つだ。今後、こうした傾向が鮮明になり横にも広がっていくことを期待したい。金融機関には、成長の芽を積極的に見いだし、資金面から支える役割が求められている。

Many Japanese companies became stronger over the years by overcoming difficulties such as two oil crises and the yen's rapid appreciation, and achieved resurgence. We believe that they will do the same by overcoming the current global economic crisis.
 多くの日本企業が2度の石油危機や急激な円高など、困難のたびに強くなって復活を果たした。今度もそうなる可能性を信じたいと思う。

The darkest hour before dawn is an opportunity to take action to make a great leap forward.
 一番暗い夜明け前が勝負時だ。

毎日新聞 2009年4月2日 0時04分
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-04-03 09:38 | 英字新聞

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