Survey December 2014

Economic hope remains

Firms look to Games-related opportunities

  • Better company performance due to firms’ own efforts
  • Strategies continue to be bullish as firms expect further growth
  • Pollees expect Games to have positive impact on economy

The latest Foreign Chambers in Japan Business Confidence Survey shows that, while firms remain positive about Japan’s economic situation, they are not as hopeful as they were six months ago.

The economy is still expected to grow over the next six months, albeit at a slightly lower level.

Where +2 indicates strong improvement, and -2 strong decline, the index is +0.33, compared with +0.46 in the previous (April 2014) poll.

North American firms—40% of the total—were more positive (+0.42) than their European counterparts (+0.28).

By type of business, the service sector was most positive (+0.48), followed by manufacturing (+0.31) and finance (+0.28). Firms in sales and trading were least optimistic (+0.21).

Looking 12 months ahead, the respondents see further economic growth (+0.42), but at a lower level than in the previous survey (+0.70).

Respondents reported better company performance, with some 54% attributing this to their own firm’s efforts. Other reasons given included Abenomics and the consumption tax rate increase.

While profitability growth decreased slightly (+0.39 compared with +0.49), pollees expressed optimism about their sales forecast for the coming six months. This positivity was also reflected in their forecast for profitability. It was slightly stronger than indicated in the April poll, up from +0.60 to +0.63.

The strategies of foreign-affiliated firms in Japan remain bullish, with 79% looking to further growth.

This October survey also included questions on the possible impact of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Some 89% of respondents expect the Games to have a positive effect on the Japanese economy and business climate.

Regarding respondents’ interest in Games-related promotion projects (by chambers, embassies or other organisations), 22% gave a definite yes as their answer.

The poll received 300 responses over 10 days in October from members of 15 foreign chambers of commerce and business organisations. The next survey will be conducted in April 2015.

Full report: