Japan manufacturers' mood set to turn optimistic
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.