An index gauging business confidence among people in Japan has fallen to a six-year low, a Bank of Japan quarterly survey for December showed Wednesday.
The diffusion index for business confidence deteriorated to minus 32.0, hitting the lowest level since minus 33.1 logged in the December 2012 survey, the BOJ said.
The index represents the percentage of people who see business conditions improving a year later minus those feeling the opposite.
The index fell by 14.9 points from the previous September survey, marking the steepest drop since the 17.1-point decline in the September 2013 survey.
The deterioration may have been affected by worsening prospects for incomes and the growth potential of the Japanese economy as well as stock price falls in October last year, a BOJ official said.
The December survey also showed that the index for current business confidence compared with the level a year before stood at minus 14.3, against minus 13.3 in the previous survey.
The latest survey was conducted between Nov. 9 and Dec. 5 last year, with 2,113 people giving valid responses.