Employment Fears Could Tighten Japanese Consumer Spending

While consumer sentiment toward Japan’s economy has improved for the second straight quarter, fears about worsening employment conditions grew which could prompt consumers to tighten their spending, reports The Wall Street Journal.


According to the newspaper, a tightened spending could possibly choke off a nascent economic recovery. Citing figures from a Bank of Japan survey, the Journal says that the BOJ's consumer sentiment diffusion index was minus 72.3 in September, up from minus 81.4 in June. The results indicate consumers have started to believe the worst is over for the country's economy, and are less pessimistic about the outlook, notes the Journal.


However, the Journal notes that 43.7% of consumers said in September they were greatly concerned about their employment conditions in the year ahead. This was up from 41.9% in the previous quarter. Reflecting such worries, 59.4% told the BOJ they will spend less over the next year, compared with 59.2% in June.


The consumer survey polled 4,000 people age 20 or older, garnering 2,276 valid responses, says the Journal.


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