Japan’s manufacturers are their most upbeat in six years, a central bank survey showed, bringing good news for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as his administration prepares to raise sales taxes in April.
The headline index of sentiment among large-manufacturers rose to plus 16 in the three months to December, the Bank of Japan’s tankan survey showed Monday. That compares with plus 12 in the previous poll announced in September. It is also the highest since plus 19 in December 2007. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the index to rise to plus 15.
The result amounts to a solid one-year report card for Mr. Abe, whose success in buoying corporate profits through a weaker yen and rising share prices has helped dispel a deflationary mind-set among business managers and consumers.
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