Japan Consumer Confidence Index

The consumer confidence index in Japan remained virtually unchanged at 43.1 in February 2017, after allowing for seasonal factors.

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, 2017 (published on February 2nd, 2017).

Recent data trend

Japan's consumer confidence index in February was 43.1, slightly down by 0.1 points from the previous month. The index is currently at the upper end of its past two years' range.
Among the sub-components, overall livelihood, income growth and willing to buy durable goods have declined slightly.  The employment condition was up by 0.2 points from the previous month. The consumer confidence index seem stable, but it is range-bound and significantly weaker than the prevailing level back in 2004-2007. In terms of price expectations for a year ahead, the percentage of people who expect prices to go up was 73.7%, a decrease of 1.2% point from the previous month. 

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: April 6th, 2017.

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