Japan: Consumer sentiment plunges to lowest level in over two years
March 12, 2014
In February, consumer sentiment fell from the 40.5 points recorded in January to 38.3 points, marking the lowest level since September 2011. The print undershot the fall to 40.0 points that market analysts had expected. The consumer confidence index measures consumers' expectations for the next six months on a scale of 0-100, where 100 points indicates that all respondents see their living standards improving. February's drop resulted from an across-the-board deterioration in consumer confidence. Consumers were significantly more pessimistic regarding their willingness to buy durable goods as well as their employment prospects. Income growth and consumers' overall livelihood recorded milder declines. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to increase 0.5% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. In 2015, the panel sees private consumption growing 0.4%.