Japan Business Mood Turns Positive for First Time in 2023 as Economy Improves

Business sentiment among Japanese manufacturers turned positive for the first time this year, and service-sector mood reached a five-month high, a Reuters Tankan poll for May showed on Wednesday, providing a further sign of an economic recovery.

The May poll, which is based on the widely-respected Tankan quarterly survey conducted by the Bank of Japan, revealed that manufacturing sentiment is likely to improve further over the next three months, while service-sector sentiment declined little.

The sentiment index for major manufacturers increased to +6 in May from -3 in April. Positive readings are those over 0, while negative ones are those below 0.

The Reuters Tankan survey also found that optimism in Japan’s service sector had reached a five-month high, with a value of +25. This was the best reading for the index since February 2020.