Consumption Activity Index

Consumption Activity index rose sharply by 1.2% in January to 104 in January 2017.

Published monthly by the BoJ. Updated till the month of January 2017(Published on 9th March, 2017)

Recent Data Trend

The seasonally adjusted real consumption activity index(RCAI) increased by 1.2% month on month (MoM) in January 2017, recovering from the sudden dip in December 2016. On a year on year basis there was a significant rise too, by 1.1% YoY. In a hindsight, the sharp decline in December may have been a temporary dip. 

Among the components of RCAI, consumption of durable goods grew by 0.5% MoM and that of non-durable goods rose by 1.4% MoM. The rise in the index might be a sign of an improved consumer sentiments. The fact that real wage has barely grown since October 2016 may render the improvement unsustainable though.

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 sub categories 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 contents 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 causes 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(Quarterly)

Next Release Date: 7th April, 2017.

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