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Japan: Consumer confidence jumps to over three-year high in December

Staff Writer |
Consumer sentiment rose from November’s 40.9 to 43.1 in December, which marked the highest print since September 2013.

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The reading beat the 41.3 that market analysts had expected. The consumer confidence index measures consumers’ expectations for the next six months on a scale of 0–100, where 100 indicates that all respondents see their living standards improving.

December’s reading reflected a broad-based improvement as all the main sub-components of the index gained ground from the previous month’s result.

Households’ perceptions of their job prospects improved the most, followed by their views on their willingness to buy durable goods and their overall livelihood. Consumers’ assessments of their income growth rose only mildly in the same month but hit a 43-month high.

Despite December’s increase, the government left its assessment of consumer confidence unchanged, stating that, “the pace of pickup has slowed.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to rise 0.8% in 2017, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. In 2018, the panel also sees private consumption growing 0.8%.