A hastily arranged government survey has found that 71.4 percent of about 1,500 small businesses have seen their earnings hurt by soaring oil prices, up from 65.6 percent in January, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Tuesday.

The percentage of companies that see a “serious impact” on their earnings reached 24.8 percent in the survey, which was conducted between late April and early May on 1,494 small businesses, compared with 18.1 percent in the previous poll in January, according to METI’s Small and Medium Enterprise Agency.

Among the dyeing, petroleum and plastics product manufacturing, ceramics, laundry and transportation sectors, more than 90 percent of the polled firms said they saw adverse effects on their earnings from high oil prices, as in the previous survey.

In the paper, rubber, food and nonferrous metals industries, the percentage of affected companies increased. For example, the percentage rose to 33.3 percent from 11.1 percent among cardboard and paper processing firms and from 23.2 percent to 34.2 percent among food makers.

As in the previous survey, more than 90 percent of small companies said they have difficulties in passing the high oil prices onto products.

The survey was originally scheduled for next month but was moved up after crude oil futures rose above $70 per barrel in New York.

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