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[TOKYO] Japan's service sector sentiment index rose to 50.1 in February, up for a third straight month, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Monday.
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 45.6 in January.
The Cabinet Office said the economy is in a moderate recovery trend although there is some weakness. That compared with its previous view that the economy was showing weakness in its recovery.
The outlook index, indicating the level of confidence in future conditions, advanced to 53.2 in February from 50.0 the previous month.
The Cabinet Office started compiling the data in comparative form in August 2001.