Japan: Consumer confidence slightly down in April
May 15, 2012
In April, the seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index declined to 40.0 points from 40.3 points in March and marked, in fact, the first drop in 12 months. The print contrasted market expectations that had consumer confidence rising to 40.8 points. The consumer confidence index measures consumer expectations over the next six months, with a value of 100 points indicating that all respondents see their living standards improving. The monthly deterioration was broad-based, as three out of the four main sub-components recorded losses over the previous month. In particular, the overall livelihood category dropped markedly, while the willingness to buy durable goods and job conditions recorded softer declines. On the other hand, the income growth category improved. Despite the deterioration registered in April, the Cabinet Office maintained its assessment that "consumer sentiment is on a recovery trend."