By Daniel Leussink and Leika Kihara
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s service sector sentiment rose in September to the highest level in 2-1/2 years, government data showed on Thursday, suggesting that the economy is gradually recovering from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
A 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 grew 5.4 points from August to 49.3 in September.
It was the highest level since April 2018 and the fifth straight month of increase, boding well for the government’s efforts to prevent a pandemic-driven recession from deepening.
“While conditions remain severe due to the pandemic’s fallout, sentiment is improving,” the government said on the survey. “While there are concerns over the pandemic, sentiment is likely to continue recovering,” it said.
A separate private survey