The Bank of Japan’s most recent “tankan” survey of consumer sentiment found that Japanese business confidence has reached its highest point in six years. And. this confidence extends from big firms to small businesses. Perhaps more importantly, for the first time since 1992, the number of those consumers who are optimistic about their economic future surpassed those with a negative attitude. The findings of the survey reinforce the Bank of Japan’s opinion of the economy: that it is recovering moderately following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s direction, and likely will not need another round of government stimulus. Is this swing in perception enough to lure you back into investing in Japan? Or, are you still withholding judgment (and your investment dollars) until there are additional positive indicators?
Investors hoping for the market to shake off concern that the Fed may begin taping its easy-money policies in the wake of improving economic data will need to wait until at least next week, with stocks ending nearly flat today after a three-day drop that resulted in the worst week for the market in nearly four months.
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