Japan's service sector sentiment flat in August amid bad weather, geopolitical concerns

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-08 17:19:36|Editor: Zhou Xin
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TOKYO, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Sentiment in Japan's service sector remained flat in August as business confidence was offset by bad weather and geopolitical concerns, the Cabinet Office said on Friday.

The Cabinet Office's monthly Economy Watchers survey's diffusion index, in which a score of more than 50 means people view current economic conditions in a positive light, remained unchanged from July at 49.7.

The government maintained its basic assessment of business confidence for the fourth straight month, however, stating that the Japanese economy "continues to pick up."

The Cabinet Office said that of those surveyed, comments related to inclement weather had doubled in the recording period from a month earlier.

Protracted periods of heavy rain in Japan's northeast among other places saw sales at convenience stores fall, as did demand for electrical home appliances, the survey showed.

Concerns about heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsular also impacted the services industry, an official from the Cabinet Office was quoted as saying.

Looking ahead, the Cabinet Office said that conditions in the service sector would improve, with the sentiment index for economic conditions in the coming months rising 0.8 point to 51.1.

The Economy Watchers Survey asks business-cycle sensitive workers of their thoughts on existing and future economic conditions to provide the government with a detailed picture of economic trends in Japan.

Segments of the economy surveyed include sectors such as retail, restaurant service, and taxi driving and the monthly report serves as both a consumer confidence indicator and a leading indicator for the rest of the economy.

The survey was conducted between Aug. 25 and Aug. 31, and polled 1,869 workers across Japan.