Japan: Consumer confidence weakens in April
Consumer sentiment unexpectedly declined in April, dropping from 44.3 in March to 43.6, the lowest level in eight months. The reading surprised to the downside, as market analysts had expected the index to rise to 44.5. 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.
Looking at the breakdown of the print, the decline was across the board. Consumers had a much more pessimistic view on employment prospects. Households’ assessment on their overall livelihood and their willingness to buy durable goods also worsened notably. Income growth, however, reported a milder decline. On the price front, expectations of higher prices increased in April, with 82.3% of the respondents (up 2.5 percentage points from last month’s survey) expecting that prices will trend higher.