TOKYO (AP) - A key quarterly economic survey by the Bank of Japan shows sentiment among large manufacturers dipped two points to 19, as worries grow about global trade tensions.
The "tankan" survey, released Monday, marked the third straight quarter of decline.
The survey, long seen as an important indicator of this nation's economic health, looks at the difference between companies surveyed that have a "favorable" outlook and those with an "unfavorable" outlook.
The latest results show optimists outnumber pessimists but that difference is shrinking.
The manufacturers surveyed include automakers and electronics companies that are the mainstay of Japan's economy.
Some analysts had expected a rebound in sentiment.
Japan's growth is dependent on exports and any slowdown in pan-Pacific trade would have a negative effect on sentiment.