Economy watchers sentiment up in Aug.

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — Sentiment among so-called economy watchers in Japan, or people with economy-sensitive jobs, rose for the first time in two months in August, thanks to the firmness in consumption related to extreme summer heat, the Cabinet Office said Monday.

The diffusion index gauging the sentiment of the surveyed people, including shop clerks and taxi drivers, compared with three months before rose 2.1 points from July to 48.7 after seasonal adjustment. A positive reaction from the preceding month’s weakness traced to torrential rains mainly in western Japan also helped push up the DI in August.

Based on the results, the government agency revised up its assessment on the sentiment among the economy watchers, saying they believe that the Japanese economy remains on a moderate recovery trend.

In the July survey, the government said that surveyed people believe the economy remains on a moderate recovery trend although signs of a pause are seen in the wake of the heavy rain disaster.

In the August survey, two of the three underlying indicators — those for household and business activities — rose from the preceding month.

A taxi driver in the Chugoku region said the number of customers increased thanks to the scorching heat.

An official at a department store in the Kyushu region said summer clothing was selling well.

An official of a construction company in Kyushu cited an increase in orders for projects aimed at mitigating disaster damage.

Meanwhile, the employment-related indicator fell amid labor shortages.

An official of a job magazine publisher in the Koshinetsu central region said the construction sector is struggling to secure workers.

The outlook DI for the surveyed people’s economic confidence two to three months ahead stood at 51.4.Speech

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