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MNI (London)
     TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan's Consumption Activity Index posted a
second straight gain in September, up a real 3.6% on a seasonally adjusted
basis, following a downwardly revised gain of 2.6% (previously +3.1%) in August
and a revised fall of 1.8% in July, data released Friday showed.
     The index for the third quarter rose 0.8% on quarter, slightly accelerating
from +0.7% (revised from +0.9%) in the second quarter.
     The BOJ believes the index underlines its latest assessment that "private
consumption has been increasing moderately, albeit with fluctuations, against
the background of steady improvement in the employment and income situation."
     However, it also sees consumer spending, which accounts for about 60% of
the total domestic output, as lacking momentum as income is only rising slowly.
     Recent data showed that the front-loaded rise in demand before the sales
tax hike on Oct. 1 was observed, but the scale was less than before the previous
tax hike in 2014.
     BOJ officials are closely watching for any post-tax hike drop in private
spending to gauge the underlying trend.
     The BOJ's Consumption Activity Index looks to forecast revised private
consumption and is not a preliminary estimate.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email: hiroshi.inoue@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MAJDS$,M$A$$$,M$J$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com

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