Consumer sentiment still sliding


Consumer sentiment worsened in April for the fifth straight month to hit its lowest since August 2011, according to a Cabinet Office survey.

The seasonally adjusted index for households’ outlook on living conditions six months ahead came to 37.0, down 0.5 point from March and the lowest since 36.9 in August 2011.

The Cabinet Office kept its assessment unchanged, saying that weak movements are seen in consumer sentiment.

The size of the index’s fall shrank for the second straight month, and the indicator for the timing of buying durable goods, one of the four components of the index, marked the first improvement in seven months, rising 1.0 point to 31.8.

But the indicator for income growth fell 1.2 points to 37.0, while that for overall livelihood declined 0.9 point to 34.1. The indicator for employment was down 0.8 point at 45.1.

The survey showed that the proportion of households expecting higher prices a year ahead fell 4.9 points from March to 84.8 percent, recording the biggest setback since December 2009. The March proportion was the highest since comparable data became available in April 2004.