• Kyodo News

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Consumer sentiment about the economy a year ahead deteriorated in the October-December period for the first time in six quarters, the Bank of Japan said Thursday, underscoring consumers’ growing anxiety over the future.

The BOJ’s diffusion index came to minus 23.1, down 17.4 points from the previous quarter, marking the sharpest drop since December 2007, when it dropped 18.5 points, it said.

Meanwhile, the index showing how consumers see the current state of the economy compared with a year before improved 5.3 points to minus 67.0.

A BOJ official said the government’s announcement in November that the economy is in mild deflation and the yen’s steep appreciation during the surveyed period may have hurt consumer confidence.

The BOJ conducted the latest survey between Nov. 12 and Dec. 8 on 4,000 people aged 20 or older. Valid answers were provided by 59.2 percent.

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