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Autumn clothing bumps up economy watcher sentiment

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Sentiment among so-called economy watchers in Japan, or people working in industries sensitive to changes in economic trends, improved for the first time in three months in September due mainly to a recovery in personal consumption, the Cabinet Office said Tuesday.

The government agency upgraded its basic view on sentiment saying that the Japanese economy is recovering steadily, from the previous assessment stating that the country’s economy continues to pick up.

The diffusion index gauging the sentiment of the surveyed people, including shop clerks and taxi drivers, compared with three months before rose 1.6 points from the previous month to 51.3 after seasonal adjustment, the Cabinet Office said.

The increase came as the index for household-related activities rose 2.3 points to 50.1 on the back of improved private consumption, exceeding the boom-or-bust threshold of 50 for the first time in 10 months.

“Demand from those who are not foreign visitors to Japan or wealthy people, both of whom have been key sales drivers, was also robust,” said an official from a department store in the southern Kanto region, which includes Tokyo.

“Autumn clothing was actively bought,” said an official from a supermarket in the Chugoku western region.

The employment index fell amid a worsening labor shortage.Speech

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