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 24th, survey was conducted between October 16 and 25, 2013, and received 278 valid responses from members of 16 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) DCCJ (Danish), 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 bullish about the Japanese economy, although at a slightly lower level than in the previous survey in April 2013. The economy for the next 6 months is expected to continue to grow significantly - the index, on a scale from +2 (strong improvement) to -2 (strong decline)) was now +0.89, compared to +1.00 in April. 84% of the respondents expect strong or some improvement while only 3% see some decline. Looking 12 months ahead, the companies see still a growth, although lower than forecasted in the previous survey. The index was now +0.75, compared to +1.06 in the previous survey.
The positive views on the economy were also reflected in the reported and projected performance of the companies, partly at least due to the weakening of the yen. The reported sales performance in the past six months developed stronger than in the April survey, the index was now +0.71 compared to +0.43 the previous survey. The sales performance was now at its highest level since the Spring 2007 survey. Similarly, the profitability growth also improved, now +0.45 now compared to +0.36 in April.
Also in the sales forecast for the coming six months the respondents were more optimistic than in April, the index was now +0.87 (previous survey +0.71). This forecast is also the highest since the Spring 2007 survey. The forecast for profitability also grew stronger than in the April survey, from +0.47 to +0.57.
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% (71% in the April survey) are looking for further growth and 15% are expecting to sustain their current level. 3% are planning to downsize, but none of the respondents are considering withdrawing from Japan.
The uncertainties after the 3/11 disaster are obviously behind, and at least for now, the businesses seems to benefit from the Abenomics.
This time the survey included two alternating questions regarding management training.
To download the full report, click below:
FCIJ Business Confidence Survey Report - Fall 2013 (PDF 2.6 Mb)
The report also includes commentary from Dr. William Schrade.
Dr. Schrade is a part-time lecturer at the University of Maryland University College, Adjunct Faculty
Download all comments from respondents:
Other Reasons for Changes in Business Performance (193 kb)
Comments to Reasons for Changes in Business Performance (205 kb)
Comments to Strategies in Japan (199 kb)
General Comments (197 kb)
The next survey will be conducted in April 2014. The results from that survey will be published late April 2014.
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.
REPORTS FROM PREVIOUS SURVEYS
This survey is supported by: