On Japan’s Tankan business survey Capital Economics note that:
…large companies say they plan to reduce capital spending by 0.4 per cent in the fiscal year which started today (in line with consensus and the smallest decline in a March Tankan since FY 2007). These estimates are usually revised higher during the year so this small fall will probably turn into a decent increase.
Or in graphical form:
In other words, companies tend to start out saying that they will invest the same as last year, and then either invest more (in years when the economy grows), or less (in years when the economy turns down).
It’s not a very profound observation to note that business investment responds to realised growth – but a worthwhile caution against taking the -0.4 per cent number too seriously nonetheless.