Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 01:24

MNI DATA IMPACT: Japan July Sentiment Down On Retail, Services

--Japan July Econ Watchers Current Index 41.2; June 44.0
--Japan July Watchers Current Index Posts 3rd Straight Drop
--Japan July Watchers Outlook Index 44.3; June 45.8
--Japan July Watchers Outlook Index Posts 1st Drop in 2 Months
--Japan Govt Lowers View: Weakness seen in recovery

TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's current sentiment index fell for a third consecutive month in July, weighed by items linked to households, such as retail sales and services, a key government survey released Thursday showed.

The monthly survey indicates whether respondents with jobs most sensitive to economic conditions -- taxi and truck drivers, department-store sales staff and restaurant and shop owners -- think economic conditions have improved or worsened from the three months prior.

These are the key points from the latest Economy Watchers Survey, conducted by the Cabinet Office between July 25 and July 31.

--The Economy Watchers sentiment index for Japan's current economic climate fell 2.8 points to 41.2 in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, after falling 0.1 points to 44.0 in June.

--July's 41.2 was the lowest level since April 2016 when it was also at 41.2.

--The Watchers outlook index for two to three months ahead showed a marked drop, down 1.5 points to 44.3 on the back of weaker outlook for employment and services along with eating and drinking items.

--The Cabinet Office lowered its overall economic assessment based on the Economy Watchers Survey, saying, "weakness is seen in the recovery." The downward revision is the first time in four months.

--"Looking ahead, there are concerns of uncertainty over the global economy and the consumption tax hike (to 10% from 8% on Oct. 1)," the government said.

--There are optimistic views on higher private consumption to be triggered by a front-loaded surge in demand before the tax hike, but that is balanced with concerns demand may slow post-hike.

--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email:
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email:

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