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Japan Consumer Confidence Weakens Unexpectedly In May

Japanese consumer sentiment fell unexpectedly in May, survey results from the Cabinet Office showed Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index dropped to a seasonally adjusted 41.4 in May from 41.5 in April. It was forecast to rise to 41.9.

Among the four sub-indicators, only two index improved from the prior month. The overall livelihood indicator rose 0.4 points to 38.8 and the income growth index increased 0.5 point to 39.8.

Meanwhile, indicator for employment dropped 1.4 points to 47.2 and willingness to buy durable goods slid 0.1 points to 39.6.

Consumers' assessment about the direction of prices showed that more people expect prices to go up, but the rate slowed when compared to the previous month.

About 87.4 percent of the people surveyed expect prices to go up, down 1.8 percentage points from the previous month. Those expecting prices to go down was 2.9 percent, the same rate as in the previous month, while those anticipating prices to stay the same about 0 percent rose 1.5 percentage points to 7.1 percent.

The survey was conducted among 8,400 households on May 15.

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