Japan: Consumer confidence improves in May
Consumer sentiment edged up to 43.8 in May from 43.6 in April, which was below market expectations of a rise to 43.9. 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.
The slight improvement in May was driven by consumers’ less pessimistic views on their overall livelihood and employment prospects, as well as a greater willingness to buy durable goods. However, consumers’ outlook on income growth worsened in the month. Regarding prices, expectations of higher prices decreased in May, with 82.1% of respondents expecting prices to trend higher (down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s survey).