Consumers in Japan reveal August gloom

Ben Southwood
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CONSUMER confidence dropped in September, data from Japan’s Cabinet Office revealed yesterday.

Seasonally-adjusted consumer confidence drifted down from 40.5 in August to 40.1 in September, driven by a fall from 38.7 to 37.7 in the employment sub-index.

Separate data released yesterday by the Cabinet Office also revealed a 12.6 per cent monthly crash in machinery orders in August – even after seasonal adjustment.

Most of this fall was down to highly volatile orders, but even with those excluded, orders were 3.3 per cent lower in August than in July.

The one positive bit of data was bank lending, which grew one per cent in the year to September, according to another set of figures from the Bank of Japan.

This boost will give heart to finance minister Koriki Jojima, who has been fighting to boost growth in Japan’s weak economy.