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The Bank of Japan’s “tankan” survey due out next week will show that sentiment among the nation’s largest manufacturers has fallen to a five-year low amid the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression, many economists predict.

The quarterly index measuring confidence among large makers of cars and electronics likely slid to minus 2 from 5, the economists say. It would be the first time since 2003 for the index to be on the negative side, meaning pessimists outnumber optimists.

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