Consumer confidence down in June on jobs, pay

Kyodo

Consumer confidence weakened slightly in June from the previous month, the government said Tuesday, citing possible employment and pay concerns.

The sentiment index for households composed of two or more people fell to 40.4 last month from 40.7 in May, declining for the first time in two months, the Cabinet Office said. Readings below 50 indicate pessimists outnumber optimists.

The office downgraded the basic assessment in the survey, saying consumer sentiment is “almost flat,” compared with the evaluation in the previous month of it being on a “recovery trend.” It was the first downward revision in seven months.

Of the four major components, the readings of views on income growth and employment conditions deteriorated, with the office pointing to the potential negative impact of lower salaries in May and summer bonuses, as underscored by other data, as well as from media reports about job cuts by major companies.