Japan Consumer Confidence Index

In June 2017, Japan's consumer confidence marginally weakened to 43.3 from 43.6 in May 2016.

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 June 2017 (published on July 3rd, 2017).

Recent data trend

According to Cabinet Office, the consumer confidence index marginally weakened in June by 0.3 points to 43.3, after a seasonal adjustment. The dip in the index is mostly due to livelihood and income growth conditions which fell by 1.1 and 0.4 points respectively. On the other hand, the employment condition index continue to improve in June to 48.1 from 47.8.

Together with the consumer confidence index and its components, the Cabinet Office releases a survey on price expectations among households. The percentage of people expecting prices to go up increased to 79.2, continuing on the recovery trend after bottoming in March 2017.

In our view, the consumer sentiment index continue to hover close to the high-end of its range in the last 24 months, despite the small dip in June. It is also revealing to see that while employment condition index continue to pull to the overall index up, it is the income growth index that is failing to improve in the last few months.

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: 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 price to rise, 25.9% replied price to remain flat and only 8.5% replied they expect 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: August 2nd, 2017.

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