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Japan's business mood up for third quarter

Staff Writer | July 3, 2017
Business confidence among large Japanese manufacturers improved in June for the third straight quarter, according to a Bank of Japan quarterly survey released on Monday.
Business confidence Japan
Asia   The Tankan index rose from to plus 17 in June
The Tankan index rose from plus 12 in March to plus 17 in June, hitting the highest level in three years. The reading is above the estimated level of plus 15 predicted by analysts surveyed by the Nikkei business daily.

Large manufacturers expect the closely watched index to fall to 15 in the September survey.

The index for large non-manufacturers also grew to plus 23 from plus 20 in March, the survey showed.

Positive numbers on the Tankan index indicate the extent to which optimists outnumber pessimists in a sector of industry.

Large companies in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors expected their investment would jump 8% for the current financial year through March 2018 from the previous year, compared with a 0.6% increase in the March survey.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government sees robust corporate investment as key to propping up the world's third-largest economy.

The survey also showed sentiment among medium-sized manufacturers edged up to plus 12 from plus 11 while the index for small manufacturers climbed to plus 7 from plus 5.

With Japan's export-dependent economy taking advantage of a weaker yen, overall shipments rose for the sixth straight month in May.

The country's exports in May jumped 14.9% from a year earlier to JPY5.85 trillion in May, a government report showed.

The central bank surveyed 10,725 companies from May 30 to June 30 for the latest Tankan survey, and 99.6% responded.