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Economists Survey Raises 2021 CPI Forecast To 4.9%

Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 05:34 GMT Jul 6/01:34 EST Jul 6
     TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan's quarterly consumer survey released Friday
showed that sentiment rebounded from three months ago on generally better
economic well-being amid lingering concerns over the rising cost of living. It
also indicated a slight rise in inflation expectations.
     The survey was conducted between May 11 and June 6, when the temporary
easing of the U.S.-China trade dispute and firmer stock markets supported
consumer confidence, as seen in the Cabinet Office's monthly Consumer Confidence
Survey for May, which was conducted on May 15. Of the 4,000 people polled,
2,161, or 54.0%, responded to the BOJ survey.
     The key points from the survey results:
     * The BOJ's consumer sentiment diffusion index for the current climate rose
by 2.5 point to -9.9 in June after falling 0.5 point to -12.4 in March, posting
the first rise in two quarters. More people said it was easier to make ends meet
and income gained, compared to a year before.
     * But the consumer sentiment outlook index projecting conditions a year
ahead marked the first drop in three quarters, down by 1.4 points at -16.6 in
June, after edging up 0.3 point in March.
     * The BOJ survey also showed that the percentage of respondents expecting
prices to rise in the next year stood at 77.4% in June, up from 73.9% in March,
while 1.7% said prices would fall in the next year, down from 2.5% three months
earlier. Those saying prices would be little changed 12 months ahead fell to
20.3% from 22.8%. The median CPI forecast stayed at +3.0%.
     * Looking five years ahead, 82.3% said prices would rise, up from 81.0%
three months earlier. Meanwhile, 3.2% of respondents expect prices to fall,
compared with 3.4% in March. Those saying prices would be little changed fell to
12.9% from 13.7%. The median forecast stayed at +2.0%.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-4670-5309; email: max.sato@marketnews.com