Japan's manufacturers' mood shows recovery

A closely watched survey in Japan shows business sentiment among big manufacturers has returned to pre-pandemic levels. But the mood is expected to take longer to recover in some other sectors, including hotels and restaurants.

The Bank of Japan compiles the Tankan every three months, covering about 9,500 companies.
It shows the difference between the percentage of firms saying business is good and those saying it's bad.

The latest report came out on Thursday. It shows confidence at major manufacturers rose 15 points to 5. The improvement from the previous report released in December has come on the back of growing exports. It marked the third-straight quarterly rise.

The gauge is also at the same level as in September 2019, before the start of the coronavirus crisis.

But the Tankan's results paint a different picture for many non-manufacturers. The sector overall was on a recovery path, but still negative, at minus 1.

Confidence among managers at tourism agencies and restaurants fell sharply. They were weighed down by restrictions during the pandemic such as shortened business hours at bars and restaurants.

The outlook for major manufacturers sees a 1-point retreat. Sentiment at non-manufacturers is not expected to change.