Japan: Consumer confidence rises but remains in negative territory in May
Consumer confidence came in at 34.1 in May, up from April’s 33.0. Despite the uptick, the index remained entrenched below the 50-threshold, separating pessimism from optimism among consumers.
The uptick came on a broad-based improvement in the index’s subcomponents. Consumers raised their expectations regarding their willingness to buy durable goods; income growth; employment; and overall livelihood over the next six months.
The continued improvement in consumer confidence seen in May was likely due to the removal of most Covid-19 restrictions in late March. Along with a year-on-year rebound in retail sales in April, this consumer confidence data suggests private consumption should recover in Q2 after having contracted in Q1.