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Economy watcher sentiment up again

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 second consecutive month in October, the Cabinet Office said Thursday.

The diffusion index gauging the sentiment of the surveyed people, including shop clerks and taxi drivers, compared with three months before rose 0.9 point from the previous month to 52.2 after seasonal adjustment.

Helped by robust corporate earnings performances and a strong employment situation, October’s result marked the highest level since the 53.8 recorded in March 2014, the month before the consumption tax was raised from 5 percent to the current 8 percent.

The government agency kept its basic view on sentiment unchanged, saying the economy watchers believe that the Japanese economy is recovering steadily.

Corporate activities appeared firm. “Demand for sport-utility vehicles and other models was brisk,” said an official from an automobile-related manufacturer in the northern part of Kanto. An official in the financial industry in Kyushu said demand for funds was strong.

“Job openings for full-time regular employees are on the rise,” an official of a job-placement office in the Kyushu region said, regarding the employment situation.

As for household-related activities, typhoons and a general election on Oct. 22 dampened sentiment at restaurants. Sentiment in housing- and service-related businesses, however, improved.

The economy watchers’ outlook DI for economic conditions two or three months ahead went up 3.9 points to 54.9.Speech

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