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Japan manufacturers' mood set to turn optimistic

Published on Feb 21, 2013 8:32 AM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese manufacturers' sentiment picked up for the third straight month in February and looks set to turn positive in the next few months, a Reuters poll showed, showing a gradual recovery from a slump with help from a weak yen.

Firms remained cautious about a patchy recovery in the business environment in February but indicated they are expecting broad improvement in coming months, although a full-fledged economic recovery may take time.

The poll of 400 firms, of which 257 responded during Feb 1-18, comes as new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues to aggressively push monetary and fiscal policies which have helped to sharply weaken the yen and boost share prices to 52-month highs.

The Reuters Tankan, which closely correlates with the Bank of Japan's key quarterly tankan survey, showed that optimism among non-manufacturers, including retailers and construction firms, eased slightly this month but looked set to firmly rebound in May.

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