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Japan's service sector sentiment falls in Nov.

(Xinhua)

18:26, December 08, 2011

TOKYO, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Sentiment in Japan's service sector dropped in November as a persistently strong yen and a global economic slowdown weighed on attitudes, the Cabinet Office said Thursday in its monthly "Economy Watchers" survey.

The current conditions index fell to 45.0 in the recording period, following a reading of 45.9 in October when the index gained traction for the first time in three months, the official government data showed.

The forward-looking index, which gauges conditions two to three months ahead, fell to 44.7 from 45.9 in the previous month, indicating the "watchers" feelings about upcoming conditions are pessimistic.

The watchers' index gauges feelings from respondents with service sector-related jobs, which are sensitive to economic swings, about upcoming prospects and conditions. Those surveyed include taxi and truck drivers, department store sales staff and restaurant and shop owners.

Readings below 50 indicate that pessimistic views outnumber optimistic opinions and the forward-looking index has stayed below the key 50 level for 53 months in a row.

All three of the components comprising the survey, spanning household spending, business activities as well as employment conditions, dropped in the recording period, leading to the cabinet office maintaining its basic assessment of the survey that said the watchers see the economy as ''slowing its pace of recovery.''

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