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Japan's economy watcher sentiment logs record rise in June

Taxi drivers, waiters and other retail workers have high recovery expectations

More people are out shopping and returning to daily life now that the government has lifted its business closure request.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Business sentiment among workers in Japan with jobs sensitive to economic trends posted a record rise in June, reflecting expectations for an economic recovery following the end of a coronavirus state of emergency, government data showed Wednesday.

The diffusion index of confidence among "economy watchers" such as taxi drivers and restaurant staff rose to 38.8, up 23.3 points from the previous month and marking the sharpest increase since comparable data became available in January 2002, the Cabinet Office said.

The outlook is also becoming positive, with the diffusion index gauging sentiment for the coming months increasing 7.5 points from the previous month to 44.0, following a record rise of 19.9 points logged in May.

The Cabinet Office upgraded its assessment for the second consecutive month, saying that while economic conditions remain severe due to the pandemic, there are signs of a pickup.

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