Big manufacturers' sentiment improves for 2nd straight qtr: Tankan

Business confidence among large Japanese manufacturers increased in June from three months earlier for the second straight quarterly improvement, the Bank of Japan's key survey showed Monday, boosted by robust exports amid a weakening yen and rising consumer confidence.

The Tankan survey's headline index measuring sentiment among big manufacturers such as carmakers and high-tech firms stood at plus 4, up from March's minus 8. The latest figure was slightly higher than the average forecast of plus 3 in a Kyodo News survey.

The quarterly survey said that sentiment among nonmanufacturing companies such as those related to construction and services rose to plus 12, up from plus 6 in the previous quarter and higher than the average estimate of an increase to plus 11.

The diffusion index represents the percentage of companies reporting favorable business conditions minus that of firms describing unfavorable environments.

The central bank said large firms in all industries plan to increase their capital spending by 5.5 percent in fiscal 2013, against the 2.0 percent decline indicated in the previous survey and higher than the average forecast of a rise of 3.7 percent.

The BOJ surveyed 10,623 companies between May 28 and June 28, of which 99.0 percent responded.

In the survey, big manufacturers anticipated that the U.S. dollar will average 91.20 yen in fiscal 2013 through next March, compared with 85.22 yen estimated in the previous survey.