TOKYO Jan 11 Japan's service sector
sentiment index rose to 45.8 in December, a Cabinet Office
survey showed on Friday, in a sign that the fall in the economy
may have hit bottom.
The survey of workers such as taxi drivers, hotel workers
and restaurant staff -- called "economy watchers" for their
proximity to consumer and retail trends -- showed their
confidence about current economic conditions rose from 40.0 in
The Cabinet Office started compiling the data in comparative
form in August 2001.
The outlook index, indicating the level of confidence in
future conditions, was 51.0, up from 41.9 in November.
The Cabinet Office said the economy showed signs of picking
up, compared with its previous view that the economy was staying