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Battered economy receives boost

Date Posted: 1999-04-10

Major corporations have expressed growing confidence in the Japanese economy, the latest Tankan survey reveals.

The quarterly Tankan survey by the Bank of Japan showed pessimism had eased over the last three months and a small rise in business confidence among major manufacturing corporations was now present.

The Tankan index, measuring the difference between the number of manufacturers who feel business is favorable and those who report an unfavorable sentiment, dropped from minus 49 in December 1998 to minus 47 in the latest survey.

Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa appeared quietly confident during a press conference Tuesday, stating that although the result does not mean an end to the recession, the "worst period for the Japanese economy has passed."

The latest survey is good news for an economy still reeling from record unemployment figures released only days earlier.

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