Japanese big manufacturers’ business confidence improved in the second quarter to hit a two-and-half-year high, a central bank survey showed, a sign solid global demand was helping the economy emerge from the coronavirus pandemic-induced doldrums.

Service-sector sentiment also turned positive for the first time in five quarters, suggesting that the economic recovery was broadening even as Japan struggles to contain a fresh wave of coronavirus infections.

The headline index for big manufacturers’ sentiment jumped to plus 14 from plus 5 in March, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of improvement and posting the highest level since December 2018, the Bank of Japan’s tankan survey for June showed on Thursday.

An index gauging big nonmanufacturers’ mood stood at plus 1, against minus 1 in the previous survey, marking the highest reading since March 2020.

The tankan sentiment index readings are calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents who say conditions are poor from those who say they are good. A positive reading means optimists outnumber pessimists.

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