Japan Real Time Charts and Data

Edward Hugh is only able to update this blog from time to time, but he does run a lively Twitter account with plenty of Japan related comment. He also maintains a collection of constantly updated Japan data charts with short updates on a Storify dedicated page Is Japan Once More Back in Deflation?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Japan Economy Watchers and Consumer Confidence April 2008

Sentiment among Japanese merchants fell for the first time in three months in April as higher prices of daily necessities sapped consumers' spending power. The Economy Watchers index, a survey of barbers, taxi drivers and others who deal with consumers, dropped to 35.5 from 36.9 in March, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. The outlook index of conditions in two to three months fell to 36.1.

Japan's consumer confidence also fell to its lowest in five years in April as gains in prices of everyday goods exceeded the pace of wage growth. The sentiment index dropped to 35.2 last month from 36.7 in March, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo, the lowest since March 2003.

``This depressing situation for consumers will continue until gains in food and oil stop eroding real income,'' said Takehiro Sato, chief economist at Morgan Stanley in Tokyo. ``It's very hard to paint an optimistic picture for consumer spending with this sluggish wage growth.''

Equipment orders, which signal capital spending in the next three to six months, declined 8.3 percent in March and companies expect orders to fall 10.3 percent in the second quarter, the Cabinet Office said yesterday.