TOKYO, April 2 (Reuters) - Japanese big manufacturers' business confidence worsened slightly in March from three months ago, the Bank of Japan's closely watched quarterly "tankan" survey showed on Monday.
The headline index for big manufacturers' sentiment stood at plus 24 in March, and is expected to fall to plus 20 over the next three months, the tankan showed.
The reading for the headline index compared with the median estimate of plus 25 in a Reuters poll of analysts. The BOJ has reviewed the list of companies it surveys, and big manufacturers' business sentiment in December was revised up to plus 26 from 25.
The survey also showed big firms plan to raise their capital spending by 2.3 percent in the financial year from April 2018, versus economists' median estimate of a 0.6 percent gain.
The tankan's sentiment indexes are derived by subtracting the number of respondents who say conditions are poor from those who say they are good. A positive reading means optimists outnumber pessimists.
Reuters PREVIEW on the survey:
Survey results on the BOJ's website: https://www.boj.or.jp/en/statistics/tk/gaiyo/2016/tka1803.pdf (Reporting by Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto Editing by Chris Gallagher)