Japanese business sentiment turned optimistic in the three months to March, a closely watched central bank survey showed on Thursday, signalling a gradual economic recovery from a slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The headline index for big manufacturers’ sentiment improved to plus 5 in March from minus 10 in December, the Bank of Japan’s “tankan” survey showed. The median market forecast had been for a zero reading.

The BOJ tankan indexes are derived by subtracting the percentage of pessimistic respondents from optimistic ones. A negative figure means pessimists outnumber optimists.

Survey results on the BOJ’s website:


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