The office left its assessment of the country's consumer confidence unchanged, saying it "has continued improving." "From the perspective of consumer sentiment, it was confirmed that the nation's economy is entering a recovery phase," Cabinet Office Parliamentary Secretary Keisuke Tsumura said at a press conference. "But considering the recent sluggish stock markets, which often have a large impact on consumers' sentiment, we refrained from raising the assessment," he said.
Three of the four components marked increases. Employment gained 1.8 points to an index reading of 40.1, income growth grew 0.7 point to 41.1, and livelihoods went up 0.6 point to 43.0. But willingness to buy durable goods fell 0.1 point to 46.9, marking the first drop in six months following a revision made to the government incentive program for the purchase of environment-friendly consumer appliances in April.
The percentage of respondents expecting rises in prices over the coming year surged by 6.8 percentage points from the previous month to 46.0. The percentage of those forecasting falls fell by 3.2 points to 13.1. The Cabinet Office surveyed 5,034 households across Japan on May 15, of which 74.9 percent responded. (Breitbart)