A closely-watched survey by Japan's central bank shows confidence is improving at big manufacturers in the country, but remains in negative territory.
The Bank of Japan's latest Tankan report came out on Monday.
It shows confidence at major manufactures rose 17 points to minus 10, up from minus 27 in the last survey in September. The figure is an improvement for the second-straight quarter.
The gain comes as the economy starts to get back into gear, especially the auto sector.
A separate index for large non-manufacturers also shows improvement, with confidence rising 7 points from the last survey to minus 5. The index includes the restaurant and tourism sectors.
Looking ahead, the outlook for the next quarter shows the upward trend will not last. Major manufacturers see only a 2-point improvement, while non-manufacturers see a 1-point drop.
The BOJ compiles the Tankan every three months, covering about 9,500 companies. It shows the difference between the percentage of firms saying business is good and those saying it is bad.