Tokyo, March 8 (Jiji Press)–Sentiment among so-called economy watchers in Japan, or people working in industries sensitive to changes in economic trends, worsened for the second straight month in February, a government survey showed Tuesday.
The seasonally adjusted index on economy watchers’ sentiment about current economic conditions dropped 0.2 point from the previous month to 37.7, weighed down by the spread of the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
Based on the results of the survey, conducted for four days through Feb. 28, the Cabinet Office maintained its basic economic assessment, pointing to weakness in the pickup of the economy.
In the February survey, the index on household activities was down 0.8 point and that on corporate activities down 0.7 point, while that on employment improved 3.9 points.
The survey report cited a high-end restaurant operator in the southern Kanto region in eastern Japan as saying that the number of business-related parties fell to zero, and the number of nonbusiness customers was low due to COVID-19 pre-emergency restrictions.
Meanwhile, the index on economy watchers’ outlook for the economy two to three months ahead rose 1.9 points.
However, there are growing concerns about the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with a transportation operator in the Tohoku northeastern region voicing worries about a further rise in fuel prices.