Japan's Large Manufacturers More Upbeat

Major Japanese companies have grown more optimistic and plan to boost spending on new plants and equipment, keeping the economic recovery on track, a key survey showed July 3. Sentiment among large manufacturers rose to plus 21 from plus 20 in March, the Bank of Japan said in its closely watched "Tankan" survey, which appears likely to reinforce market expectations of an end to zero interest rates.

The figure matched market expectations. A positive reading means that confident firms outweigh pessimistic ones.

Large companies in all industries plan to raise capital spending by 11.6% in the fiscal year to March 2007 from the previous year, the central bank said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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