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Coronavirus Cases Drop To Two-Month Low

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TOKYO (MNI)

Japan's sentiment index fell for the second straight month in December hit by weaker hospitality and services, prompting the Cabinet Office to lower its overall economic assessment.

The latest Economy Watchers sentiment index for the current economic climate fell a seasonally-adjusted 10.1 points to 35.5 in December from 45.6 in November, the government's survey released Tuesday showed.

The survey indicates whether respondents with jobs most sensitive to economic conditions, including taxi and truck drivers, department-store sales staff and restaurant and shop owners, think economic conditions have improved or worsened over the last three months.

VIRUS IMPACT

The outlook index for two to three months ahead rose 0.6 point to 37.1 from 36.5. The survey was conducted by the Cabinet Office between Dec. 25 and Dec. 31 after the number of infections surged.

Restaurants and retailers remain the hardest-hit businesses according to the poll, which targeted roughly 2,000 people, including store managers and taxi drivers.

The Cabinet Office lowered its overall economic assessment based on the survey, noting the recent weakness was due to the impact of the coronavirus.
MNI Tokyo Bureau | +81 90-2175-0040 | hiroshi.inoue@marketnews.com
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