Japanese consumer confidence edged up in April, first rise in six months

TOKYO, May 2 (Reuters) – Japan’s consumer confidence index rose in April to mark its first rise in six months after COVID-19 restrictions ended in late March, but inflation expectations hit a record for the third consecutive month.

A Cabinet Office survey showed the General Household Sentiment Index, which includes views on income and jobs, was 33.0 in April, up slightly from 32.8 in March.

“Consumer sentiment turned positive as COVID-19 cases declined further and the lifting of restrictions paved the way for the economy to reopen,” a government official said during a briefing. hurry.

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The survey, conducted from April 7 to 20, also found that 93.7% of consumers expect the prices of goods to rise over the next 12 months – the third consecutive month of record highs with comparable data rising. to April 2013.

The proportion of consumers who believe prices will rise by 5% or more was 55.7%, also the highest on record.

The government kept its assessment of consumer confidence unchanged as the improvement in April was relatively weak, saying it looks weak.

The rising cost of living has stoked fears of a potential slowdown in consumer spending later this year. Read more

The Bank of Japan said on Monday that Japanese consumers will continue to face heightened inflationary pressures as electricity bills and food prices rise following the recent surge in global commodity prices. Read more

Analysts expect the world’s third-largest economy to post annualized growth of 5.1% in the current quarter, but for the fiscal year that began last month, they only expect growth 2.5%, according to a Reuters poll. Read more

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Reporting by Kantaro Komiya and Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Edwina Gibbs

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