Consumption Activity Index

A surprising resilience of private consumption in January

Published monthly by the BoJ. Updated until the month of December 2017. (Published on February 14th, 2018)

Recent data trend

In January 2018, Real Consumption Activity Index (RCAI) expanded by 0.4% month-on-month (MoM). It was a positive surprise, as the retail sales statistics for January published on February 28 was showing a severe decline of 1.8% MoM and cast a gloomy picture on how private consumption performed in January. By type of consumption, we see that the consumption of durable goods indeed declined severely in January by 3.3% MoM, echoing the decline in retail sales. However, the expansion in the consu...

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Brief overview

The Consumption Activity Index (CAI) is published by the Bank of Japan on a monthly and quarterly basis as a measure of short-term consumption activity of the households in the economy. The data is available in both nominal and real terms. The real CAI has three subcategories namely- Durable Goods Index, Non-durable Goods Index and Services Index. A variant of the Consumption Activity Index is “Consumption Activity Index Plus" that contains statistics on digital content delivery services that have been growing since the end of the last decade. Another variant Consumption Activity Index (adjusting travel balance) excludes the consumption by foreign visitors that cause an upsurge in total spending and does not reflect the true spending pattern of the Japanese consumers.

The supply and sales side statistics used by the CAI are the same as that used for Private Consumption in the National Accounts statistics. The correlation coefficient between two indicators is quite high too. So, it can be assumed that CAI will be similar to Private Consumption in the National Accounts. The CAI has shown that private consumption in Japan has enjoyed a moderate recovery and expansion after the Great Recession between 2008-2009, but since 2014, we observe a stagnation in the consumption activities.

For more information visit the official government page

Consumption Activity Index

Next Release Date: March 7th, 2018.

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