Japan: Consumer sentiment drops in February
March 14, 2011
Consumer confidence dropped in February, resuming a six-month downward trend that was only briefly interrupted in January, as rising commodity prices battered consumers' perception of income growth and overall economic well-being. In February, the Cabinet Office's index of household sentiment dropped to 40.6 points from 41.1 points the previous month. An index value below 50 indicates that consumer sentiment is pessimistic. The fall in consumer sentiment was driven by declines in three of the four main categories comprising the index. In particular, a significant drop was seen in the so-called overall livelihood component. In contrast, consumers were more upbeat about the employment situation. The survey was conducted on 15 February. The March survey that will reflect the impact of the 11 March disaster will be published on 29 April.