Japanese business confidence slightly improved in September as firms struggle to overcome the April sales tax increase, the Bank of Japan's tankan survey showed Wednesday. However, the manufacturing sector remains weak.
The quarterly survey of over 10,000 companies showed the key index measuring what Japan's big manufacturers think of present economic conditions came to plus 13 in the September survey, up from plus 12 in the June poll.
The sales tax was raised in April from 5 to 8% - - the first change since 1997.
Japan's factory production fell in August after improving in July, government data published on Tuesday showed.
"Industrial production has weakened," the ministry of trade, economy and industry said in a monthly report.
The headline seasonally adjusted Markit/JMMA purchasing managers’ index (PMI) - - a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of the performance of the manufacturing economy - - posted at 51.7 signalling an improvement in operating conditions in Japan’s manufacturing sector. Although easing slightly from the previous month’s 52.2, the index posted above the long-run series average (50.6).
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