Japan: Consumer confidence jumps to one-year high
February 9, 2012
In January, the seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index rose to 40.0 points from 38.9 points in December, which represents the second consecutive monthly rise. At the current level, consumer confidence sits at its highest point since February 2011. 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 monthly increase was broad-based, as all sub-components recorded gains over the previous month, in particular the overall livelihood and the willingness to buy durable goods. Moreover, the assessment of job conditions also improved, despite unemployment inching up to 4.6% in December. The Cabinet Office upgraded its assessment based on the January index, saying that "consumer confidence is showing signs of a pickup".