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Tokyo, July 8 (Reuters) - Japan’s service sector sentiment index rose to 49.6 in June, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Friday, improving for the third consecutive month following a record fall in March, as progress in recovery from the March 11 disaster 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 climbed from 36.0 in May.
The Cabinet Office said the condition of Japan’s economy remained severe due to the effects of the March earthquake, but it was showing signs of picking up.
The index posted its biggest monthly gain on record.
The outlook index, indicating the level of confidence in future conditions, was at 49.0, up from 44.9.
The Cabinet Office started compiling the data in comparative form in August 2001. (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Edmund Klamann)