Japan Companies’ Ordinary Profits Rise for 4th Quarter

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The cityscape of Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese nonfinancial companies’ combined ordinary profits in October-December last year grew for the fourth straight quarter to hit a record high for the period, government data showed Monday.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2023, their capital expenditures also marked a record high for the period, driven by the strong earnings, according to the Finance Ministry survey data.

The combined ordinary profits jumped 13% from a year before to ¥25,275.4 billion.

Manufacturers’ profits surged 19.9% to ¥8,858.4 billion, following a 0.9% drop the previous quarter. Transportation equipment makers, including automakers, marked 80.7% growth thanks chiefly to an easing of parts supply constraints.

Nonmanufacturers’ profits expanded 9.5% to ¥16,417 billion, up for 12 quarters in a row, mainly supported by the removal of COVID-19 restrictions in Japan and a recovery in demand from inbound tourists.

Total capital spending rose 16.4% to ¥14,482.3 billion, marking the third-fastest increase on record and rising for the 11th straight quarter.

Strong expansion was recorded by information and communications equipment makers, such as semiconductor manufacturers working to expand production lines and strengthen production systems.

The survey results reflected “a mild economic recovery,” a ministry official said, adding that the ministry will monitor slowdowns in foreign economies, such as China, and price increases in Japan as risk factors for corporate activities.