Economy December 2010 / January 2011

18th FCIJ Survey

Most firms bullish; sales, profits improve despite uncertainty

Compared with this spring’s Foreign Chambers in Japan (FCIJ) survey, the latest poll indicates uncertainty about the Japanese eco-nomy, especially over the short term.

Nevertheless, the sales and profitability of respondents continue to improve.

The 18th survey was conducted between 18 and 22 October. Members of 13 organisations representing about 2,000 foreign-affiliated firms were polled, and 287 valid responses were received.

Respondents indicated that they expected Japan’s economy to decline slightly over the following six months; the index (on a scale from +2 to -2) was -0.04 (+0.59 in spring). But looking 12 months ahead, the pollees saw the index at +0.17 (+0.79).

The reported sales performance for the previous six months shows a significant improvement at +0.64 (-0.25), with profits higher at +0.63 (+0.23). However, the sales forecast for the next six months was lower at +0.68 (+0.88) and profitability was also down at +0.60 (+0.76).

Most firms surveyed remained bullish, despite having experienced tough times over the previous two years. Some 69% (73%) indicated they were looking for further growth, 28% expected to sustain their current level, 2% planned to downsize, but only 1% (four firms) were considering withdrawing from the Japanese market.

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This survey was supported by: