• Kyodo News


The business confidence of major companies improved slightly in March from three months earlier, the Bank of Japan said Friday, while forecasting an almost certain deterioration in sentiment as a result of the economic impact of the Tohoku disaster.

The diffusion index in the central bank’s “tankan” survey showed the sentiment of big manufacturers improved to plus 6 from December’s plus 5, logging the first increase in two quarters. Economists surveyed had forecast a fall to plus 4.

As for major nonmanufacturers, the index rose from plus 1 to plus 3, also the first gain in two quarters and better than the average projection of a decline to zero.

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