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Japan's Economy Watchers index ticks up in May

Monthly sentiment in Japan's service sector edged up in May, the Cabinet Office said in a new survey published June 8, as it upgraded the country's economic assessment, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The latest Economy Watchers Survey's diffusion index increased 0.5 point to 48.6 in May from 48.1 in April, according to the report.

Strong sales of electrical appliances and increasing numbers of tourists in Japan drove the rise in sentiment, along with improving business conditions in the construction sector, the Cabinet Office said.

For the first time in six months, the Cabinet Office upgraded its assessment of the Japanese economy, saying it "continues to pick up," the Xinhua News Agency report said.

The index for the economic conditions in the coming months ticked up to 49.6 in May from 48.8 in April.

The Cabinet Office surveyed 2,050 service sector workers across Japan from May 25 to May 31 for the latest index, according to Xinhua.