Sales for nonmanufacturing firms fell 1 percent in the April-June quarter from the same period last year, while current profits dropped 4.9 percent, according to the results of a quarterly Finance Ministry survey released Sept. 9.
For manufacturers, sales grew 3.5 percent and current profits rose 21.1 percent.
The figures indicate that many nonmanufacturers are having a more difficult time than manufacturing companies in adjusting to the recent 2 percentage point hike in the consumption tax. For nonmanufacturing firms, it was the first time in 14 quarters and eight quarters, respectively, that sales and profits have fallen.
Quarterly sales for construction firms, wholesalers and retailers were down — a sign that the tax hike dampened spending in those areas, ministry officials said. But while disparities in sales and profits could be seen in various business sectors, the ministry still believes the economy is on solid footing, they added.
Manufacturers logged a year-on-year rise of 2.1 percent and nonmanufacturers 9 percent in plant and equipment investment for the quarter, they noted. Figures for all firms combined show that sales grew 0.3 percent, rising for the 14th straight quarter, while current profits increased 5 percent to register the 12th consecutive quarter of growth. The survey covered responses from 19,550 companies out of 24,044 that took part.