Japan Consumer Confidence


Consumer sentiment hits six-year high

The seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index improved in May, rising to 45.7 points from 44.5 points in April. The print marks the highest level observed since May 2007 and defied market expectations, which had the index rising to only 44.7 points. The consumer confidence index measures consumer expectations over the next six months, with a value of 100 points indicating that all respondents see their living standards improving.

The improvement was broad-based, as all the sub-categories that configure the index gained some ground over the previous month. The largest increases were seen in the overall livelihood category, in consumers' willingness to buy durable goods as well as in job conditions. Income growth, on the other hand, rose only moderately.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists anticipate private consumption to increase 0.9% in 2013, which is up 0.3 percentage points from last month's forecast. In 2014, the panel sees private consumption growing 0.6%.

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Japan Consumer Confidence Chart

Japan Consumer Confidence May 2013

Note: Index of consumer sentiment. The 50-point threshold represents the point above which consumers expect economic conditions to improve.
Source: Cabinet Office (CO).

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