Consumer sentiment down slightly in Dec.

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Consumer sentiment in Japan deteriorated for the first time in four months in December, reflecting increases in vegetable and gasoline prices, a Cabinet Office survey showed Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index fell 0.2 point from the previous month to 44.7, according to the survey, which covered households comprising two or more members.

Of the four subindexes, those for overall livelihood, employment and intention to buy durable goods, went down, while that for income growth was flat.

The government agency, however, kept intact its basic view that consumer sentiment is picking up, saying the confidence index still remains high.

The agency also reported that 80.0 percent of the total households surveyed, up 1.4 points from November, expect prices to be higher a year later while 4.0 percent, up 0.3 point, see otherwise.Speech

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