The survey was supported by:

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 seventeenth, survey was conducted between April 12 and 23, 2010.

The survey is headed by a task force consisting of representatives for the ACCJ , BCCJ and FCCJ.

The survey was sent to members at 17 organizations representing about 2,000 foreign affiliated companies and received 396 valid responses.

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

Over the line, this survey shows improvements, in many cases rather significant, both regarding the outlook for the Japanese economy and the performance of the surveyed companies, compared to the previous survey (Fall 2009).

The economy for the next 6 months is expected to further improve, +0.59 (compared to +0.25 in fall 2009), and looking 12 months ahead, the companies see a continued turn for the better - the index shows +0.79 (+0.66 in the previous survey). Even more importantly, the forecasts for the coming six months for sales and profitability both show a notable growth. The sales forecast index was +0.88 (previous survey +0.47) and that for profitability +0.76 (+0.40). Only 7% expect a further some or strong decline in sales and only 8% profitability, while 89% and 73% respectively see strong or some improvement.

Concerning the strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan, most of them continue to be rather bullish despite experiencing tough times in the last year or so. 73% (66% in the Fall 2009 survey) are looking for further growth and 23% expecting to sustain their current level. 3% are planning to downsize, but only 1% (four companies out of the surveyed 396) are considering withdrawing from the market. These results show a fairly strong improvement in optimism compared to the findings in the previous survey.

This time the two alternating questions were regarding the currency rates (EUR/JPY for Europeans, USD/JPY for the others) and Nikkei index in 6 months time. The average estimate for USD was 94.7 and for the EUR 129.2 Nikkei index is predicted to be at 11,041 (at the level when the survey was conducted).

To download the full report, click below:
FCIJ Business Confidence Survey Report - Spring 2010 (1.6 Mb)
The report also includes commentary from Dr. William Schrade, Adjunct Faculty, University of Maryland University College: Asia Division.

Download all comments from respondents:
Other reasons for changes in business performance (15 kb)
Comments regarding changes in business performance (22 kb)
Comments regarding strategies in Japan (19 kb)
General comments (14 kb)

The next survey will be conducted in October 2010. The results from that survey will be published early November 2010.

If you need more information regarding the survey, contact your chamber or the FCCJ Office.
Printed versions of the report are also available at the FCCJ Office for a modest fee.

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