Monday, March 12, 2012

Japanese consumer confidence slips in February

TOKYO : Japanese consumer confidence weakened further in February, the government said Monday, amid mixed signs over the country's economic recovery and employment worries.

The Cabinet Office said the index of sentiment among households made up of two or more people fell 0.5 points from the previous month to 39.5 in February.

Any reading below 50 indicates pessimism outweighing optimism.

The index has steadily risen since hitting a low of 33.1 in April following the devastating earthquake-tsunami that sparked the world's worst nuclear crisis in a generation and in January it reached 40.0 in January.

The consumer survey studies four categories: general livelihood, income growth, employment conditions and plans to buy new durable goods.

The February dip was also due to worries about salaries and the employment picture, the government said.

Last week, Japan said it logged its biggest-ever trade deficit in January as exports struggle and fuel costs rise, but revised gross domestic product data suggested the picture was not as bad as feared.

Japan's economy shrank 0.2 percent in the October-December quarter from the previous three months, compared with an earlier announced 0.6 percent contraction.

On Monday, official data showed Japan's core machinery orders rose 3.4 percent in January from the previous month, hinting at better economic growth prospects in the first quarter of the year.

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Source From Chnnel News Asia

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