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Consumer confidence in the Tokyo metropolitan area improved in February for the second straight month, reflecting brighter sentiment on employment, income growth and living standards, the government said Wednesday.

The Cabinet Office’s Economic and Social Research Institute said the consumer confidence index rose to 44.4 from 44.3 in January.

The index, calculated on the basis of a survey of 435 households conducted Feb. 15, rose by 4.1 points from a year earlier for the sixth straight monthly gain.

The institute said the index on sentiment on overall livelihood rose to 44.9 from 44.6 in the previous month, while that on feelings about income growth rose to 43.7 from 43.4.

The index on sentiment on employment rose to 44.2 from 41.3, while that on gauging consumers’ inclination to purchase durable goods gained to 48.1 from 47.5.

The index on the inflation outlook fell to 41.1 from 44.7, making it the only loser among the five indexes tallied.

The consumer confidence index is designed to gauge consumer expectations for the coming six months in the five categories. It assigns points on the basis of whether consumers believe conditions in the coming six months will improve, improve somewhat, remain unchanged, deteriorate somewhat or deteriorate.

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