Consumer Sentiment Continues to Improve

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Cabinet Office building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese consumer sentiment improved for the third consecutive month in May thanks to the continued recovery in economic activities after a slump amid the pandemic, a government survey showed Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index, which measures sentiment among households with two or more members, grew 0.6 point from April to 36.0, hitting the highest level since 36.8 in January last year, according to the Cabinet Office.

The government agency maintained its basic assessment, saying that consumer sentiment is picking up. In April, the Cabinet Office upgraded its assessment.

The Cabinet Office attributed the improvement in consumer sentiment to the shift from the COVID-19 pandemic to “normal times” and the ongoing effects of the government’s measures to reduce electricity and gas bills.

The survey found that the share of respondents expecting prices to be higher a year later stood at 93.1%. Of those respondents, those who expect prices to rise by at least 5% accounted for 52.9%, down for the third straight month.