Poll shows firms confident about next 12 months
- Firms see further growth in coming year
- Abenomics said to have positive effect on company performance
- European firms more bullish than North American counterparts
Respondents to the recent Foreign Chambers in Japan Business Confidence Survey have expressed optimism regarding the state of the Japanese economy.
The poll, conducted between 15 and 25 April, received 320 replies—a 20% increase over the previous survey—from members of 17 foreign chambers of commerce anad business organisations.
The survey, the 25th since the initiative began in 2002, is seen as an important barometer of foreign business in Japan.
On an index using a scale of +2 (indicating strong improvement) to -2 (indicating strong decline), the replies show that firms generally expect the economy to grow over the coming six months (+0.46). This is a slight drop from the previous survey, conducted last October (+0.89). Some 58% of respondents expect strong improvement, while 16% see some decline.
Pollees indicated that, over the previous six months, there had been an improvement in sales, which are now at their highest level since the spring 2006 survey. Profitability also improved slightly over the period.
Respondents’ sales forecasts for the coming six months are at +0.79, indicating less optimism than in October (+0.87). That said, higher profitability is expected.
Pollees attributed their changed business performance to Abenomics, increased confidence among Japanese firms, and a general improvement in business sentiment.
In terms of strategy, European firms are more bullish, with 85% planning to strive for further growth, compared with 75% of their North American counterparts.
Concerning the weakened yen’s influence on businesses, 61% of respondents reported experiencing some, or a strong, negative impact, while 26% said there had been no impact.
This survey is sponsored by Asian Tigers.