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Japan's consumer confidence drops for 1st time in 7-months in Nov.


17:02, December 12, 2011

TOKYO, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Japanese consumer confidence worsened in November as global economic uncertainty and a strong yen weighed on new job prospects as well as income growth, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Monday.

The survey's index of sentiment among households made up of two or more people dropped 0.5 points from October to 38.1, marking the first time the index has fallen in seven months.

Out of the index's four components surveyed in November, the subsections gauging livelihoods, income and employment conditions dropped, according to the survey, but the subindex for the timing of buying durable goods posted moderate gains, the cabinet office said.

Specifically, the government data showed that the labor conditions sub-index lost 1.0 point from a month earlier to 34.3 in November, marking the first drop in three months, while the income growth sub-index shed 0.4 point to 38.7 in the recording period, retreating for a second month. The index gauging general well-being meanwhile relinquished 0.7 point to 39.1, also marking a second straight monthly fall, the cabinet office said.

A reading of less than 50 indicates pessimistic views regarding confidence outweigh those surveyed reporting more optimistic views.

Deterioration in the jobs market tends to translate into negative sentiment among households toward spending and the office downgraded its assessment on consumer confidence, saying "consumer confidence is nearly flat," from its previous view which stated " the pace of recovery in consumer confidence is moderating."

The government's consumer confidence index is based on a five- point scale that measures how consumers see their living conditions, as well as three other categories, improving, declining or remaining roughly the same over the coming six months.

The latest survey polled 6,720 households of which 5,033 households, or 74.9 percent, provided usable data, the office said.

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