• Kyodo

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Consumer confidence deteriorated at its fastest pace ever in April amid the negative fallout from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the government said Monday.

The index of sentiment among households made up of two or more people lost 5.5 points to 33.1 for the third consecutive month of decline. It was the sharpest fall among comparable figures available since April 2004.

Readings below 50 indicate pessimism outweighing optimism. In March, the index shed 2.6 points to 38.6.

The Cabinet Office downgraded its basic assessment of data, saying consumer confidence has been “deteriorating.”

All four components—livelihoods, income growth, employment conditions and the timing of new durable goods purchases—registered falls.

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