April 8, 2013 / 5:06 AM / 5 years ago

Japan service sector sentiment improves in March

TOKYO, April 8 (Reuters) - Japan’s service sector sentiment index rose to 57.3 in March, up for the fifth straight month, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Monday, suggesting weak yen and gains in share prices helped by the government’s push for ambitious fiscal and monetary policy boosted consumer confidence.

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 53.2 in February.

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 57.5, slightly down from 57.7 in February, which was the highest in survey history.

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