Consumer sentiment in Japan was flat from the previous month in November, a government survey showed Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted index measuring confidence among households with two or more members was at 39.2, according to the Cabinet Office. The index gauges sentiment over the next six months.

An improvement in sentiment stalled after the index in October hit the highest level since December 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic began, due to a decrease in new infection cases.

“Higher energy and food prices weighed on consumer sentiment,” a Cabinet Office official said. The agency maintained its basic assessment, saying that consumer sentiment is picking up.

Of the four component indicators, that for overall livelihood and willingness to buy durable goods fell for the second consecutive month.

Some consumers refrained from buying new cars concerned about a longer waiting time for purchases amid automakers’ production reductions.

Indicators for income growth and employment improved for the third straight month.

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