May 31, 2019

Japan Consumer Confidence Index

Consumer sentiment sinking rapidly in the first 3 months of 2019

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 May 2019 (published on May 31st, 2019).

Recent data trend

Consumer sentiments in Japan have deteriorated over the past year. The overall index peaked as long ago as in January 2018 at 44.7 and it has been consistently deteriorating, down to 40.5 by March 2019. The fall was slow and subtle in the first half of 2018, but the pace of the deterioration has gathered pace in the first 3 months of 2019. By components, the sub-indices for overall livelihood and employment have deteriorated by larger margins than other sub-components such as income growth. ...

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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: July 1st, 2019.

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