Consumption Activity Index

Real consumption activity index increased in October 2016 to 104 from 103.1 in September 2016.

Published monthly by the BoJ. Updated till the month of November, 2016(Published on 11th January, 2017)

Recent Data Trend

The real consumption activity index(CAI) increased by 0.8% to 104 in October 2016 on a MoM basis from 103.1 in September 2016. On a year on year basis the Real CAI increased by 0.2% from -0.4% in the previous month. This increase in the index is supported by increase in total wage, retail sales and private consumption expenditure observed in the Japanese economy. Among the components of real CAI, the consumption activity indices for durable goods and services rose by 3.4% and 0.5% YoY respectively where as non-durable goods index fell by 1% on a year on year basis.

The CAI had a moderate upward rising trend since 2005 except a sudden dip during the Tohoku earthquake in March 2011 and a spike just before the consumption tax rate hike in April 2014.

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.

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Consumption Activity Index(Quarterly)

Next Release Date: February 7th, 2017