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Japan firms most upbeat since 2014

TOKYO: Confidence among Japan's biggest manufacturers has risen for the third straight quarter to the best level in more than three years, a key central bank survey showed yesterday as exports continue to grow.

The Bank of Japan's Tankan report - a quarterly survey of more than 10,000 companies - showed a reading of 17 among major manufacturers, the highest since the first quarter of 2014.

The key index, which rose from 12 in the previous survey, also beat market expectations of a result around 15.

The better-than-expected Tankan is good news for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

His party suffered a crushing defeat in the Tokyo municipal assembly election on Sunday in a vote seen as a barometer of current public sentiment towards his government.

The Tankan, closely watched for being the broadest indicator of how Japan Inc is faring, marks the difference between the percentage of firms that are upbeat and those that see conditions as unfavourable. - AFP

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