Business sentiment among workers with jobs sensitive to economic trends in Japan posted the largest drop in nine months in December, as a resurgence in novel coronavirus infections hit consumption during the year-end holiday season, government data showed Tuesday.

The diffusion index of confidence in current conditions compared with three months earlier among "economy watchers" such as taxi drivers and restaurant staff fell 10.1 points from November to 35.5, down for the second straight month following an 8.9 point drop in the previous month, according to the Cabinet Office.

The latest monthly decline was the sharpest since a 13.2% fall was logged in March last year when the virus began to spread rapidly, clouding the economic outlook.