Japan's quarterly central bank survey shows no improvement in business confidence from the previous quarter. The worse-than-expected result reflects a deteriorating outlook among medium and smaller manufacturers despite easing worries over the crisis in Europe.
The Bank of Japan's quarterly "tankan," released Monday, showed the main index for big manufacturers was at minus 4 for the January-March quarter, unchanged from the last quarter of 2011. Many analysts had forecast an improvement to minus 1.
A negative reading indicates greater pessimism than optimism among those surveyed.
Data released last week showed weaker than expected factory production in February, underscoring the fragility of the economic recovery as growth in Asia slows.
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