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Japan Housing Starts Continue To Fall; Consumer Confidence Improves

Japan's housing starts continued to decline in June and consumer confidence improved in July, data showed on Friday.

Housing starts decreased 12.8 percent year-on-year in June, following a 12.3 percent fall in May, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism revealed.

This was the twelfth consecutive decrease in housing starts. Economists had forecast an annual 13.7 percent decline.

Annualized housing starts decreased to 790,000 in June from 807,000 in the previous month.

Data also showed that construction orders received by big 50 contractors fell 13.4 percent on year in June, following a 2.8 percent decrease in May.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the consumer confidence index increased to 29.5 in July from 28.4 in June, the Cabinet Office revealed.

All the four sub-indexes of the consumer confidence index, the index reflecting overall livelihood rose to 31.7 in July and income growth increased to 32.8.

Households' willingness to buy durable consumer goods rose to 31.6 and the index for employment increased to 21.7.

The latest survey was conducted on July 15 covering 8,400 households.

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