Japan’s consumer confidence up
Japanese consumer confidence improved in January from the previous month, a Cabinet Office survey showed yesterday, but uncertainty over Europe’s debt problem and worries about the financial markets may hinder steady recovery. The survey’s sentiment index for general households, which includes views on incomes and jobs, was 40 in January, up from 38.9 in December. The Cabinet Office raised its assessment of consumer confidence, saying it showed signs of picking up. Previously, it had said confidence was almost flat. The readings are firmly below the 50 level, which suggests pessimism.