August consumer sentiment up

Kyodo

Consumer sentiment improved for the first time in three months in August amid signs of recovery in employment conditions, the government said Monday.

The confidence index of households made up of two or more people rose to 40.5 last month from 39.7 in July, the Cabinet Office said. All four components — livelihood, income growth, employment conditions and the timing of new durable goods purchases — marked advances.

While no drastic improvement was observed in sentiment, the situation surrounding employment — such as relatively low jobless rates, an increase in new job offers and fewer media reports about large firms cutting their payrolls — helped turn the index higher, a Cabinet Office official said.