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Japan's consumer confidence index posted the first month-on-month drop in four months in December as optimism declined in all major components, prompting the Cabinet Office to lower its assessment.
The index fell to 31.8 in December from 33.7 in November, the latest Consumer Confidence Survey published Wednesday showed.
Consumers were less optimistic in all four key components: overall economic well-being, income conditions, the labour market situation and the willingness to buy durable goods.
The Cabinet Office lowered its assessment from the previous month, noting that consumer sentiment is marking time. Its previous view was that consumer spending remained severe but the recovery continues.
The sub-index on asset prices, not included in calculating overall consumer confidence, fell 0.4 point to 35.6 after rising 0.3 point to 36.0 in November.
The share of respondents projecting consumer price gains fell to 65.9% in December after a 4.0-point decline to 68.4% in November. The share of respondents forecasting lower prices stood at 12.4% in December, up 2.7 points from November.