• NNA/Kyodo


Around 80 percent of Japanese firms operating in Asia are expecting a drop in sales in the first half of this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, an NNA poll has found.

According to the May 22-26 online survey, to which 1,036 Japanese business representatives in 12 countries and regions responded, 79.2 percent predict a decline in revenue during the January-June period from a year earlier, dragged down mainly by drops in orders, factory suspensions and dampened consumer sentiment.

Among the respondents who expect falling sales, the largest group of 27.2 percent forecasts a decline ranging from more than 20 percent to less than 30 percent, followed by 18.3 percent foreseeing a range of more than 10 percent to less than 20 percent.

By country, Japanese companies in India are suffering most from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak, with 97.0 percent of respondents there expecting a drop in sales. One company in the automotive industry said its sales fell to almost zero in April and May.

India, which imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25, has over 182,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with more than 5,100 deaths, the highest among Asian countries as of Sunday, according to data compiled by NNA.

In Malaysia and the Philippines, respectively, 95.9 percent and 88.3 percent of Japanese firms predict a sales decline in the first six months of 2020, while 38.9 percent in Myanmar and 71.0 percent in China do so, the survey found.

Among all the respondents, 62.4 percent expect the impact of COVID-19 to fade away within one year.

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