• Kyodo

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Consumer sentiment regarding economic conditions one year from now deteriorated for the third consecutive quarter, a Bank of Japan survey showed Wednesday, indicating people’s wariness over the impact of a consumption tax increase.

A consumer sentiment diffusion index regarding current economic conditions compared with a year earlier, however, improved in the three months to March to minus 6.4, up 2.8 points for the first increase in three quarters, citing such reasons as income situations and business conditions of companies they work for or run.

The index of consumer sentiment one year from now stood at minus 16.5, down 2.5 points from the previous survey last December.

The index is calculated by subtracting the percentage of people who feel conditions are worse than a year earlier from those who feel there has been an improvement.

On the effects of spending for the time being after Tuesday’s sales tax hike, 69.6 percent said they plan to reduce spending, while 40.8 percent they have either spent or planned to spend money on goods and services before the tax increase.

As for prospects of prices, 79.9 percent said they are likely to either increase considerably or slightly one year from now regardless of the impact of the sales tax hike, down from 80.9 percent from December.

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