Japan business confidence hits highest level since 2018

Confidence among major Japanese manufacturers hit its highest level since 2018, a key business survey showed, as they bet on a strong post-pandemic recovery despite setbacks.

The headline index for big manufacturers’ sentiment jumped to plus 14 from plus five in March, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of improvement, according to the Bank of Japan’s Tankan business survey, a quarterly poll of about 10,000 companies.

The index readings are calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents who say conditions are poor from those who say they are good. A positive reading means optimists outnumber pessimists.

The figure for large manufacturers has improved for four straight quarters, after plunging into negative territory in April 2020 for the first time in seven years.

For medium-sized firms, confidence was up to plus five from minus two, while small companies rose to minus seven from minus 13.

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