Business sentiment improved for the first time in nine months in June, thanks to the resumption of economic activity nationwide, credit research company Teikoku Databank Ltd. said Friday.
The business sentiment diffusion index rose 2.4 points from the previous month to 27.6, posting its first increase since September last year. The upturn reflected economic activity sparked by the government’s lifting of the state of emergency in late May.
The reading is still much lower than the 41.9 logged in January, before the coronavirus landed on Japan’s shores. Facing downside risks that include a potential second wave of COVID-19 infections, business sentiment “is expected to stop receding temporarily but will likely continue to lack vigor,” Teikoku Databank said.
It is the first time the diffusion indexes have climbed in all 10 regions of Japan since November 2016.
By sector, retailers posted an 8.0-point increase in sentiment, the largest ever. By contrast, sentiment worsened in the transport and warehousing industry for the first time in two months amid dismal demand for travel and shipping for manufacturers.