January 10, 2019

Consumption Activity Index

A likely positive summer for Japanese consumers

Published monthly by the BoJ. Updated until the month of November 2018. (Published on January 10, 2019)

Recent data trend

According to the consumption activity index published by the Bank of Japan, private consumption expanded by 0.3% month on month (MoM) in July 2018. The western part of Japan suffered an unusually strong rain in the early part of July, leading to severe disruptions in the transportation infrastructure and concerns for an adverse economic impact. The Japanese government designated it as a ”specified disaster", a rare designation outside earthquakes. Fortunately for the Japanese economy, it...

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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: February 7th, 2019.

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