January 29, 2020

Japan Consumer Confidence Index

A welcome year-end respite to consumer sentiments in Japan.

Note: Consumer confidence index was published quarterly before Mar.2004 and monthly data is available after Apr. 2004.

Published monthly by the Cabinet Office. Updated to the month of January 2020 (published on January 29th, 2020).

Recent data trend

Consumer sentiments in Japan recovered for the third month in a row in December 2019. The sentiment index had been steadily deteriorating since early 2018 and the recovery we saw in the last 3 months are an interesting break from the deterioration trend in the last 2 years. By components, all sub-indices improved. The largest improvements were in the overall livelihood and in the willingness to purchase durable consumer goods. The latter improvement shows that the negative impact from the c...

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Brief Overview of "Consumer Confidence Index"

Consumer confidence index, published by Cabinet Office as a part of "Consumer confidence survey", aims to measure Japanese households' sentiment toward consumption activities. The index consists of four sub-categories: the overall standard of living, income growth, employment and willingness to buy durable goods. By construction, an index level above 50 implies that consumers expect the situation is improving. Japanese consumers seem to have a tendency to think negatively about the future though. The average index level between 1983 and 2013 is 42.8, and the index has rarely risen above 50.

Since 2004, respondents are also asked for their price expectation. Price expectation is measured based on the ratio of households expecting prices to go up, stay the same or go down. Japanese consumers have a tendency to overestimate the likelihood of a rise in price. Between 2005 and 2012, on average 57.2% of households replied that they expect prices to rise, 25.9% replied price to remain flat and only 8.5% replied they expect the price to fall. In reality, Japanese CPI remained virtually flat throughout the period, in fact declining marginally by 0.7% in total between 2005-2012. 

The Next Release Date: March 3rd, 2020.

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