FCIJ Business Confidence Survey – Fall 2014

The Foreign Chambers in Japan (FCIJ) is an informal organization comprised of foreign chambers of commerce and business groups in Japan mainly for the purpose of information exchange and enhancement of the activities of the component organizations.

The FCIJ conducted the first Business Confidence survey in April 2002, based on a format developed by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ). This survey, conducted twice a year, is rapidly becoming a barometer of foreign business in Japan.
This, the 26th, survey was conducted between October 21 and 31, 2014, and received 300 valid responses (an increase of 8% from the corresponding survey last year) from members of 15 foreign chambers of commerce and business organizations.

Participating organizations included the ACCJ (American Chamber), ABC (Austrian Business Council), BCCJ (British Chamber), BLCCJ (Belgian-Luxembourg), CCCJ (Canadian), FCCJ (Finnish), CCIFJ (French), DIHKJ (German), IJCC (Irish), ICCJ (Italian), NCCJ (Dutch), NoCCCJ (Norwegian), SACCJ (South African), SCCJ (Swedish) and SCCIJ (Swiss).

This survey shows that the respondents remain positive about the Japanese economy, albeit at a slightly lower level than in the previous survey in April 2014. The economy for the next 6 months is expected to continue to grow – the index, on a scale from +2 (strong improvement) to -2 (strong decline) was now +0.33, compared to +0.46 in October. 43% of the respondents expect strong or some improvement while only 11 % see some decline. Looking 12 months ahead, the companies see a further growth, but on a lower level forecasted in the previous survey. The index was now +0.42, compared to +0.70 in the previous survey.

The reported performance of the companies continued to improve, but on a lower rate than in the April survey. The index for reported sales performance in the past six months was now +0.59 compared to +0.83 the previous survey. Also the profitability growth decreased slightly, now +0.39 now compared to +0.49 in April.

In the sales forecast for the coming six months the respondents were slightly more optimistic than in April, the index was now +0.82 (previous survey +0.79). The forecast for profitability also grew slightly stronger than in the October survey, from +0.60 to +0.63.

The optimism reflected in the company performance data also clearly show that the strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan continue to be bullish. 79% (81% in the October survey) are looking for further growth and 19% are expecting to sustain their current level. Only 1% is planning to downsize and also 1 % of the respondents are considering withdrawing from Japan. This time the survey included three alternating questions related to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. A vast majority (89%) expect the Olympics to have a positive effect on the Japanese economy and business climate. 60% see some business opportunities created by the Olympics. Regarding the interest in promotion projects (by chamber, embassy or related organization), 22% responded definitely yes, 34% are possibly interested while 26% are probably, or definitely not interested.

To download the full report, click below:
FCIJ Business Confidence Survey Report – Fall 2014 (PDF 4.1 Mb)