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Japan's sentiment index fell for the first time in three months in April as major components worsened from the previous month, the Economy Watchers survey released by the Cabinet Office Thursday showed, prompting officials to lower their assessment of the economy.

The Economy Watchers sentiment index for the current economic climate fell a seasonally adjusted 9a.9 points to 39.1 in April from 49.0 in March, leaving the government to say the economy "showed weakness amid a severe situation caused by the impact of infectious diseases." The outlook index for two to three months ahead fell 8.1 points to 41.7 from 49.8, for the second straight drop after falling to 49.8 in March from 51.3 in February.

The survey indicates whether respondents with jobs most sensitive to economic conditions. It was conducted between April 25 and April 31, after the government lifted the emergency and targeted roughly 2,000 people, including store managers and taxi drivers.