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Business sentiment in Japan improved for the sixth straight month in November, but the pace of recovery slowed down, Teikoku Databank Ltd. said Thursday.

The private credit research firm's business sentiment diffusion index for November rose 1.6 points from October to 35.4, after increasing by 2.2 points in the previous month.

The recovery in sentiment started slowing down after the three-day weekend from Nov. 21 due to the nationwide resurgence of the novel coronavirus and resulting moves to curb economic and social activities in some regions, it said.

Among such moves was a temporary exclusion of Osaka and Sapporo from destinations covered by the Go To Travel campaign to support the coronavirus-battered tourism industry.

Of 10 regions in the country, Hokkaido saw its diffusion index (DI) deteriorate for the first time in six months, while all others enjoyed better index readings.

The company also said the DIs went up in nine out of 10 industries covered by the survey.

In the service industry, whose overall DI grew 1.7 points, the index for the entertainment sector jumped 5.3 points backed by substantial sentiment recoveries at operators of golf links and amusement facilities, and that for the hotel sector rose 1.6 points thanks chiefly to the promotional campaign.

The survey was conducted online between Nov. 16 and Monday. Valid responses were received from 11,363 companies.

Looking ahead, Teikoku Databank suggested the possibility of economic activities being restricted by enhanced requests by authorities for voluntary restraint to prevent the further spread of the virus. It also noted that winter bonus cuts and the employment environment's worsening may cause consumers to spend less.

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