January 12, 2012 / 5:20 AM / 8 years ago

Japan service sector sentiment improves in December

TOKYO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Japan’s service sector sentiment index rose to 47.0 in December, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Thursday, partly supported by year-end sales at retailers.

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 45.0 in November.

The outlook index, indicating the level of confidence in future conditions, worsened to 44.4 from 44.7 in the previous month.

The Cabinet Office said the economy is moderately picking up, though the impact from the strong yen continues.

Previously it said the pace of economic recovery was moderating partly due to the yen’s strength.

The Cabinet Office started compiling the data in comparative form in August 2001.

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