TOKYO, March 8 Japan's service sector sentiment
index rose to 53.2 in February, up for the fourth straight
month, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Friday, underpinned by
hopes for government's aggressive monetary and fiscal steps will
boost the economy.
The survey of workers such as taxi drivers, hotel workers
and restaurant staff -- called "economy watchers" for their
proximity to consumer and retail trends -- showed their
confidence about current economic conditions rose from 49.5 in
The Cabinet Office started compiling the data in comparative
form in August 2001.
The outlook index, indicating the level of confidence in
future conditions, was 57.7, up from 56.5 in January. The
Cabinet Office said in its assessment that the economy was