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Japan's sentiment index rose for a second straight month in March as major components improved on February's readings, , the Economy Watchers survey released by the Cabinet Office Thursday showed, prompting an upgrade to the official government assessment.

The Economy Watchers sentiment index for the current economic climate rose a seasonally adjusted 7.7 points to 49.0 in March from 41.3 in February, still below the recent high of 53.0 posted in October 2020.

"The economy remains severe amid (the) infectious disease but it is recovering. As for the outlook, there are concerns over developments of the coronavirus but a recovery will continue," the government noted.

The outlook index for two to three months ahead fell 1.5 points to 49.8 from 51.3, the first drop in four months.

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. It was conducted by the Cabinet Office between March 25 and March 31 after the government lifted the emergency and targeted roughly 2,000 people, including store managers and taxi drivers.