Tokyo, Sept. 8 (Jiji Press)–Sentiment among so-called economy watchers in Japan worsened for the first time in three months in August, in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases, a government survey showed Wednesday.
The seasonally adjusted diffusion index for economy watchers’ sentiment plunged 13.7 points from the previous month to 34.7, marking the biggest decline since February 2020, according to the Cabinet Office.
The government agency revised down its assessment for the first time in four months, saying that weakness is seen in the economic recovery. The survey was conducted Aug. 25-31.
The DI for household-related businesses dived 15.9 points due to the poor performances of restaurants and bars.
“Customer traffic continues to decline due to rising COVID-19 cases and the extension of a state of emergency over the pandemic,” a department store worker in the southern Kanto region that includes Tokyo said in the survey.
The DI dropped in 11 of the 12 surveyed regions, excluding Okinawa, southernmost Japan. The index slumped 19.0 points in the Shikoku western region.
The economy watchers’ outlook DI for economic conditions two or three months ahead fell 4.7 points to 43.7, the second consecutive month of decline.