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Survey: Mood improves in corporate Japan

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Japanese business sentiment improving
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pessimism declines among Japan's businesses in 2010 first quarter, survey shows
  • Figures released show fourth consecutive of improved business mood in Japan
  • Survey of Japan's companies used to help derive country's monetary policy

(CNN) -- Pessimism among companies in the world's second-biggest economy has declined during the first three months of this year, a survey by Japan's central bank showed.

The main index of Japan's large manufacturers was at minus 14, according to the Bank of Japan's tankan survey. That compares to minus 25 last December.

The figure is derived by compiling the percentage of companies that say business conditions are good minus the percentage which say conditions are poor. The higher the figure, the more optimistic the mood.

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The country's business mood improved for the fourth straight quarter, according to the report. The tankan is a measure used by the Bank of Japan to help guide the nation's monetary policy.

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Tankan figures showed similar gains throughout Japanese businesses:

-- The figure among large non-manufacturers improved from minus 21 to minus 14;

-- Medium-sized manufacturers' mood improved from minus 28 to minus 19, and from minus 41 to minus 30 among small manufacturers;

-- Among non-manufacturers, the figure improved for medium-sized businesses to minus 21 from minus 27; and to minus 31 from minus 34 for small non-manufacturing companies.

A total of 11,528 companies across Japan were surveyed. Approximately 98.7 percent responded, according to the Bank of Japan.