• Kyodo News


Consumer confidence worsened in May for the first decline in two months, sending the key index down 0.1 point, according to a government survey released Tuesday.

The index of confidence for households of two or more people came to an unadjusted 47.3, following a 0.6 point rise in April, the Cabinet Office said.

The index was down 2.5 points from a year earlier for the sixth straight month of decline.

The Cabinet Office said consumer sentiment was “almost flat,” leaving its assessment unchanged for the fifth consecutive month.

A reading below 50 indicates that pessimists outnumber optimists. Consumer spending accounts for roughly 55 percent of the economy.

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