Japanese big makers' business confidence lowest in 3 yrs.
TOKYO, July 1 (KUNA) -- Business confidence among major Japanese manufacturers fell to nearly three-year low, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) said Monday, reflecting concerns over US-China trade friction and global economic growth. The central bank's quarterly survey showed the business sentiment index among big makers, such as automakers, in the world's third-largest economy weakened to plus 7 points in June, compared with plus 12 points in the previous March survey. The figure was the lowest since September 2016 and worsened for the second straight quarter. The index represents the percentage of companies which are positive about their business minus the percentage of those who gave negative replies, therefore a positive number means optimists outnumber pessimists. The central bank's "tankan," which means short-term economic outlook, is Japan's most closely watched index of business confidence. Confidence among large retailers, banks, real estate companies and other non-manufacturers gained 2 points from the previous three months to plus 23, the first improvement in two quarters, thanks to strong sentiment by accommodations, food and beverage service sectors. Looking ahead, large manufacturers expect their business sentiment index to remain at plus 7 in the next survey in September, while large non-manufacturers predict the index to deteriorate to plus 17. The latest poll was conducted between May 28 and June 28, covering 9,770 companies, of which 99.4 percent responded. (end) mk.lr
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