Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Consumer Confidence Rises 2nd Straight Month In Feb
TOKYO (NQN)--Japan's consumer confidence index for February rose 1 point from January to a seasonally adjusted 44.3, marking the second straight monthly rise and the highest point since June 2007, when the index hit 44.4.
Growing hopes the Japanese economy will recover as the yen weakens, along with a bullish stock market, left consumers more optimistic last month.
The government left its overall assessment unchanged, saying consumers' purchasing appetite is recovering.
In February, all of the four categories that make up the index -- overall livelihood, income growth, employment and willingness to buy durable goods -- improved, with the income growth index rising 0.9% to 41.6.
The Cabinet Office said consumer sentiment improved on expectations corporate earnings will grow, thanks to the weak yen. Consumer confidence got a further lift because Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Feb. 12 urged business organizations, including the lobby group Keidanren, to raise salaries.
A total of 6,720 households nationwide were surveyed on Feb. 15, with 5,032 households, or 74.9% offering valid responses.