The key index of consumer confidence in Tokyo rose to 43.7 in August, up 1.8 points from the previous month for the second straight month of increase, the government said Monday.

An index reading below 50 means more consumers are pessimistic than optimistic.

The Cabinet Office said the index rose because four of its five component factors posted increases from the previous month.

The factors that improved were living conditions, up 1.7 points to 44.2; income growth, rising 2.2 points to 43.2; employment, up 3.4 points to 40.4; and sentiment on whether it is a good time to buy durable goods, which increased 2.2 points to 46.4.

The only factor that worsened was price increases, which slipped 0.2 point to 44.5.

The office’s Economic and Social Research Institute assigns points to respondents’ degree of confidence after asking how much they expect economic conditions in the five components to improve or worsen in the coming six months.

The office surveyed 435 households in Tokyo on Aug. 15, all of which responded.

The respondents were asked whether conditions will “improve,” “improve somewhat,” “remain unchanged,” “deteriorate somewhat,” or “deteriorate.”

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