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Japan business mood likely improved slightly in BOJ tankan

A closely watched central bank survey is likely to show Japan’s business confidence improved slightly in the three months to September, according to a Reuters poll, suggesting the economy is weathering headwinds from slowing global growth for now.

The survey is also expected to show corporate spending appetite remains firm, according to the poll, which may heighten the case for the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to phase out its massive monetary stimulus.

“Big manufacturers’ sentiment likely improved, mainly among automakers. The service-sector mood is also expected to have brightened,” thanks to the removal of pandemic curbs and the return of foreign tourists, said analysts at SMBC Nikko Securities.

The BOJ’s “tankan” business survey is set to show big manufacturers’ confidence index rose to 6 in September from 5 in June, according to the poll, which would mark the second straight quarter of improvement.

The non-manufacturers’ sentiment index likely rose to 24 from 23, improving for the sixth straight quarter, the poll showed.

Big firms expect to increase capital expenditure by 13.6% in the current fiscal year ending in March 2024, according to the poll.

The BOJ will release the data at 8:50 a.m. on Oct. 2 (2350 GMT, Oct. 1).

The tankan is likely to be closely scrutinised by BOJ policymakers in determine whether economic conditions are falling into placeto start raising interest rates.

The BOJ is expected to end its negative interest rate policy next year, the majority of economists said in a separate Reuters poll released on Thursday.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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