Japan: Downward trend in consumer confidence remains intact in February
March 8, 2016
Consumer sentiment declined from the 42.5 recorded in January to 40.1 in February. The print undershot the 42.2 that market analysts had expected and represented the lowest reading since January 2015. The consumer confidence index measures consumers’ expectations for the next six months on a scale of 0–100, where 100 indicates that all respondents see their living standards improving.
February’s result reflected a broad-based deterioration as all the main sub-components of the index lost ground compared the January. Job prospects led the fall, with the sub-gauge declining to an over-three-year low. The overall livelihood category and consumers’ willingness to buy durable goods also recorded a sizeable drop. The decline in income growth, however, was softer. Against this backdrop, the Cabinet Office downgraded its assessment on consumer confidence for the first time in 15 months, saying it suggests that “weaknesses are seen” in the economy.