Explanation:Business Outlook Survey

Purpose of the survey

This survey analyzes business leaders' assessments of and forecasts for the economy in order to gain basic information for keeping track of economic trends.

Survey area

This survey covers about 15,000 companies that have established their headquarters or principal offices in Japan and have capital stock of 10 million yen or more.

Survey method

This survey is based on self-reporting questionnaires by mail or online from respondent companies.

Timing of the survey, survey frequency, and the time of publication

Timing of the survey:The 15th day of May, August, November, and February.

Survey frequency: Quarterly

The time of publication:
Reference Terms The time of publication
April-June around June 15th
July-September around September 10th
October-December around December 10th
January-March around March 15th

Items of the survey

Items of the survey are qualitative survey items like business conditions, quantitative survey items like sales and investments.

Qualitative survey items
Business conditions Choose one from "Rising/Unchanged/Falling/Unknown".
Reasons for decision in business conditions Choose the top three answers.
General domestic economic conditions Choose one from "Rising/Unchanged/Falling/Unknown".
Sales Choose one from "Increase/Unchanged/Decrease/Unknown".
Current profit Choose one from "Better/Unchanged/Worse/Unknown".
Domestic demand Choose one from "Increase/Unchanged/Decrease/Unknown".
Overseas demand Choose one from "Increase/Unchanged/Decrease/Unknown".
Sales price of products and services Choose one from "Rising/Unchanged/Falling/Unknown".
Purchasing price of input materials and products Choose one from "Rising/Unchanged/Falling/Unknown".
Inventory level of products or commodities for sales Choose one from "Insufficient/Rightness/Excessive/Unknown"
Financial position Choose one from "Better/Unchanged/Worse/Unknown".
Attitude of financial institutions in financing Choose one from "Easier/Unchanged/More difficult/Unknown".
Production and sales facilities utilization Choose one from "Insufficient/Rightness/Excessive/Unknown".
Number of employees Choose one from "Insufficient/Rightness/Excessive/Unknown".
Number of temporary employees and part-timers Choose one from "Increase/Unchanged/Decrease/Unknown".
Measures for profit improvement Choose the top three answers.
Quantitative survey items
Sales The value of "Actual/Preliminary/Forecast"
Current profit The value of "Actual/Preliminary/Forecast"
The amount of newly reported investment The value of "Actual/Preliminary/Plan"
Land The value of "Actual/Preliminary/Plan"
Software The value of "Actual/Preliminary/Plan"

note: BSI (Business Survey Index) is the percentage of companies saying that domestic economic conditions are rising compared with the previous quarter, minus the percentage of companies saying that domestic economic conditions are declining compared with the previous quarter.

e.g. In that case "business condition":
Rising 40.0%
Unchanged 25.0%
Falling 30.0%
Unknown 5.0%


The method of calculation for the estimate

The questionnaires are classified by industry type and capital class, and then they are expanded to population.

The estimate =

The total value of each item that responded to the questions in the survey

/ The number of enterprises that responded to the questions in the survey   *   The number of population enterprises

However, a stratum is based on probability proportionate sampling,

The estimate =

The total value of the ratio of each item to the capital that responded to the questions in the survey

/ The number of enterprises that responded to the questions in the survey   *   The total amount of capital of population enterprises

Types of Industry

These 37 types are built based on the Japanese Standard Industrial Classification. (Revised November 2007)


Food and Beverages
Lumber and Wood Products
Pulp and Paper
Petroleum and Coal Products
Ceramics, Stone and Clay
Iron and Steel
Nonferrous Metals
Processed Metals
General-purpose machinery
Production machinery
Bussiness oriented machinery
Electrical Machinery
Information and Communication Machinery
Motor Vehicles and its Accessories
Other Transportation Machinery
Other Manufacturing


Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Mining and Quarrying of stone and gravel
Electric, Gas, and Water Utilities
Information Communication
Transport and Postal activities
Real Estate
Other goods rental
Accommodations, Eating and Drinking services
Services for Personals
Recreational Activities
Scientific research, professional and technical services
Medical / Education
Employment and worker dispatching services
Other Services
Finance and Insurance

*The industry classification was revised from the April - June survey 2009.