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 Business confidence of big firms down for 3rd qtr.

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PostSubject: Business confidence of big firms down for 3rd qtr.   Wed 20 Jun - 4:17

A government survey shows business confidence among large Japanese companies fell in the quarter between April and June, to mark the third straight quarterly decline.

The Finance Ministry and the Cabinet Office on Wednesday released the results of a survey they conducted of around 15,000 companies late last month.

The report says that among those polled, the index of business conditions at big companies capitalized at more than 1 billion yen or 8.1 million US dollars, stood at minus 0.9, down 7.1 points from the previous quarter. This marked the first negative number for large firms since the survey began in 2004.

The figure is compiled by subtracting the percentage of companies that say business is worsening from that of firms saying business is improving.

The second quarter drop is attributed to more companies, including automobile and machinery firms, reporting rising prices for raw materials.

However, the Finance Ministry says big companies are still in good shape, optimistic about their future earnings and aggressive in their capital spending programs.

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