March 7, 2019

Consumption Activity Index

Appetite for service.

Published monthly by the BoJ. Updated until the month of January 2019. (Published on March 7, 2019)

Recent data trend

Real consumption activity grew by 0.2% month on month (MoM) in January 2019.The rate of growth was rather unremarkable, but the news was a positive surprise, given the 2.3% MoM drop in retail sales in the same month. Japanese consumers' strong appetite for service consumption explains the gap. The service consumption index rose by 1.3% MoM in January while both durable and non-durable goods consumption index fell MoM. In the consumption activity index, service consumption has 51.5% weight. Af...

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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 the 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: April 5th, 2019.

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