Japan: Consumer confidence worsens in February
March 12, 2012
In February, the seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index declined to 39.5 points from 40.0 points in January. The print contrasted market expectations that had consumer confidence rising to 40.5 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 monthly deterioration was broad-based, as three out of the four sub-components that compose the index recorded losses over the previous month. In particular, households were more skeptical about job conditions and income growth. Moreover, the overall livelihood declined slightly, while the willingness to buy durable goods remained unchanged. Despite the moderation seen in February, the Cabinet Office maintained its assessment that "consumer confidence is showing signs of a pickup".