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Business confidence rises in Japan

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Results from a survey conducted by the Bank of Japan has revealed that business confidence in Japan has begun to lift for the first time in more than two years. Revival of global trade has been instrumental in boosting confidence, with companies indicating that they expected the next quarter to bring improved business conditions, albeit from very low levels. The Tankan survey's main sentiment index for big manufacturers improved to minus 48 compared with the record low of minus 58 indicated in March quarter survey. Results also showed less anxiety around funding compared with the last survey. While the results showed a rise in confidence, pessimists still outnumbered optimists warned economist Susumu Kato, from Calyon Capital Markets Japan: "The overall impression is that Japanese firms are facing a more severe situation than market players think. The background behind this is a delay in inventory adjustments in materials sectors including steel and the general machinery sector." Large non-manufacturers showed less pessimism about business conditions and expected further improvements in the September quarter.

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