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Japan big manufacturer sentiment regains pre-COVID level: BOJ Tankan

Mood improves for third straight quarter despite pandemic and chip shortage

The auto and machinery industries have led the rebound in manufacturing activity in Japan, thanks to strong exports to the U.S. and China. (Photo by Wataru Ito) 

TOKYO -- Business sentiment among Japan's large manufacturers improved for a third straight quarter in March despite the coronavirus pandemic, global semiconductor shortages and lingering geopolitical tensions, the Bank of Japan's latest Tankan survey showed on Thursday.

The headline diffusion index of sentiment among large manufacturers came to plus 5 in March, compared with minus 10 in December, marking a third straight quarter of improvement. The latest reading matched that for September 2019, when the reading also stood at 5.

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