Japanese consumer confidence grew for the second consecutive month in September, hitting its highest level in three years, amid improved employment conditions, government data showed Tuesday.
The seasonally adjusted index of sentiment among households made up of two or more people stood at 43.0, the highest level since September 2013 and up 1.0 point from August, the Cabinet Office said. A reading below 50 suggests pessimists outnumber optimists.
The office upgraded its basic assessment for the first time since November, saying consumer sentiment is “showing signs of picking up.” The office previously assessed consumer sentiment as “leveling off.”
The survey polls consumers regarding the economic outlook for the coming six months.
“With the availability of jobs remaining high and the unemployment rate staying low, confidence in employment strengthened especially,” a Cabinet Office official said.
All of the index’s four components showed improvement, with consumers’ assessment of employment conditions climbing 1.7 point to 46.2.
The index of consumers’ assessment of livelihoods was up 1.1 point at 42.0, rising for the fifth consecutive month. Consumers’ assessment of income growth rose 0.2 point to 41.1, while their readiness to buy durable goods increased 1.0 point to 42.5.
In the survey, 74.8 percent of households said they expect consumer prices to rise in the year ahead, up 4.3 points from the previous month.