Japan: Consumer sentiment drops to lowest point in nearly three years
April 17, 2014
Consumer sentiment fell from the 38.5 points recorded in February to 37.5 points in March, marking the lowest level since August 2011. The print undershot the fall to 37.7 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.
March's drop resulted from an across-the-board deterioration in consumer confidence. Consumers were significantly more pessimistic regarding their willingness to buy durable goods going forward, reflecting the expected effect of the tax hike implemented in April. Consumer sentiment regarding employment prospects and overall livelihood also declined.
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%.