Japan service sector sentiment slightly improves in Dec as COVID-19 cases kept low

A taxi driver, wearing protective face mask following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), sits in a car outside Tokyo National Museum in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: A taxi driver, wearing protective face mask following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), sits in a car outside Tokyo National Museum in Tokyo, Japan March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

January 12, 2022

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s service sector sentiment index rose 0.1 point to 56.4 in December, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Wednesday, as domestic COVID-19 cases remained low through the month despite concerns around the new Omicron variant.

That marked the fourth straight month of increase.

The index, which was at 56.3 in November, is based on a survey of workers such as taxi drivers, hotel workers and restaurant staff who are called “economy watchers” for their proximity to consumer and retail trends.

(Reporting by Kentaro Sugiyama; Writing by Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)