TOKYO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Japan’s service sector sentiment index fell to 47.3 in August, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Thursday, worsening for the first time in five months as financial market turmoil and worries about a global slowdown hurt sentiment.
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 fell from 52.6 in July.
The outlook index, indicating the level of confidence in future conditions, was at 47.1, down from 48.5 in the previous month.
The Cabinet Office lowered its assessment, saying that the pace of economic recovery is slowing. Last month, the Cabinet Office said the economy was recovering but that some difficulties from the March 11 earthquake remained.
The Cabinet Office started compiling the data in comparative form in August 2001. (Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Joseph Radford)