Japan’s Consumer Confidence Worsens in March

Japan’s consumer confidence index for the third consecutive month in March as concerns over price rises exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continue to dampen sentiment.

A Cabinet Office survey showed the sentiment among households stood at 32.8 in March, down from 35.2 in February, according to data released on Friday.

A reading of consumers’ economic expectations for the coming six months suggested that pessimists outnumber optimists, while a total of 92.8 percent of the respondents expect prices to rise in the year ahead.

“It is necessary to continuously monitor how the prices of natural resources and raw materials will affect consumer sentiment and consumption behaviors,” a Cabinet Office official said at a briefing.

For the third month, the Cabinet Office said it expects that consumer sentiment will be “weakening further” as it reflects the impact of the conflict in Ukraine which has sent prices of oil, gas and wheat soaring.

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