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Japan's consumer confidence index posted a second straight m/m rise in March as optimism rose in all major components data released Thursday showed. However, the Cabinet Office left its assessment unchanged from February, saying a recovery of consumer sentiment continued, although the situation remains severe.

The index rose to 36.1 in March from 33.9 in February, the latest Consumer Confidence Survey data showed. The level has yet to return to pre-Covid levels.

Consumers were more optimistic in all four key components: overall economic well-being, income conditions, the labour market situation and the willingness to buy durable goods.

The sub-index on asset prices, not included in calculating overall consumer confidence, rose 0.9 point to 40.3 after rising 4.4 point to 39.4 in February.

The share of respondents projecting consumer price gains rose to 71.3% in March after rising to 69.8% in February. The share of respondents forecasting lower prices fell to 9.0% in March from February's 9.4%