TOKYO, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Business sentiment at Japan's large companies was hurt by April's sales tax hike, the first hike in 17 years, in the second quarter of 2014 for the first time in six quarters, according to a newly released government survey on Wednesday.
The confidence index covering firms capitalized at 1 billion yen (about 9.77 million U.S. dollars) or more came to minus 14.6 in the April-June period, sharply down from a record high of 12.7 during the previous quarter, according to the survey.
The survey, conducted jointly by the Finance Ministry and Cabinet Office, however, suggested many large companies expect the negative impact of the sales tax hike would be short-lived, as the index is forecast at 13.4 in the July-September quarter and at 10. 3 in the last quarter of the year.
During the reporting period, sentiment at manufacturers worsened to minus 13.9 from 12.5 the previous quarter, while that at non-manufacturers plunged to minus 15.0 from 12.8.
The survey was based on valid answers provided by around 13,000 companies as of May 15.