Japan: Consumer confidence falls to an over two-year low in December
Consumer sentiment fell from 42.9 in November to 42.7 in December, marking the lowest reading since December 2016. The print disappointed market expectations of a softer fall to 42.8. The consumer confidence index measures consumers’ expectations for the next six months on a scale of 0–100; a figure of 100 indicates that all respondents see their living standards improving.
Consumers were noticeably more pessimistic about their job prospects, and their confidence about the overall livelihood also waned somewhat. Households were also more pessimistic about income growth. Conversely, consumers were more optimistic regarding their willingness to buy durable goods, which rose to a six-month high. Regarding prices, expectations of higher prices fell in December, with 83.2% of respondents expecting prices to trend higher (down 1.3 percentage points from last month’s survey).