TOKYO (AP) - A central bank survey shows Japanese manufacturers are increasingly optimistic over the outlook in months ahead.
Results from the Bank of Japan's "tankan," or quarterly survey of business sentiment showed large manufacturers were especially upbeat, with a reading of positive 12, up from 4 in the July survey.
The survey's release Tuesday clears the way for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to approve plans for a hike in the sales tax, to 8 percent from the current 5 percent.
But it contrasts with data for August showing higher unemployment and lower household spending. Improved hiring and wages are needed to spur a rebound in consumer spending to help underpin a sustained recovery after years of stagnation.
The tankan shows sentiment of all enterprises improved to 2 from previous survey's minus 2.