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Japan Inc. projects 4% profit fall on China and Europe slowdown

TOKYO -- Combined net profit at big Japanese companies is forecast to fall 4% this fiscal year, the first drop in five years, corporate earnings outlooks show, due in part to a slowdown in China and Europe and conservative yen exchange-rate assumptions.

The decline would follow a 18% jump in fiscal 2023 to a third straight record high of 45.3 trillion yen ($292 billion), boosted by a weakening yen and a recovery in production, mainly in the auto industry.