60% of Japan's top honchos say economy will 'moderately recover'

60% of Japan's top honchos say economy will 'moderately recover'

JAPAN - Sixty per cent of leaders from the nation's top 30 corporations believe the economy will moderately recover in the first half of this year, while nearly 70 per cent think the economy is in a mild decline, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey for the New Year.

When asked what approach the new administration led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should adopt as its top priority to ensure economic revitalization, nearly 70 per cent of polled respondents selected the swift implementation of economic growth strategies from a multiple-choice list.

Nearly 90 per cent, or 26 of the 30 leaders polled, supported Japan's participation in negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade agreement.

All survey respondents said the economy was either in a mild decline or at a standstill. Twenty respondents said the economy was "moderately declining," while nine said it was "in a temporary lull."

When asked the cause of the current economic situation, 21 selected "the worsening economy of China and other newly emerging nations" while 18 picked "the continuing European fiscal and financial crises" from a multiple-choice list.

But many of the 30 leaders predicted a recovery.

Eighteen respondents said they expected the economy to show a "moderate recovery" while nine said they expected it to "remain at a standstill" and three said they expected it to show a "moderate aggravation."

In their predictions of price-adjusted real economic growth for 2013, 12 respondents chose "from 1 per cent to less than 1.5 per cent" and 10 respondents selected "from 0.5 per cent to less than 1 per cent." None of the 30 expected negative growth.

Eleven respondents said they expected the Nikkei Stock Average to reach about 11,000 at its highest, while 15 said it would fall to around 9,000 at its lowest.

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