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Japan is to release its Consumer Confidence numbers for December

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Japan is to release its Consumer Confidence numbers for December

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Japan’s consumer confidence index will be updated today for the month of December.

The index has been steadily rising since the end of the northern summer, reaching a nine-month high of 33.7 in November as consumers grow more comfortable operating under COVID-related restrictions. Domestic consumption has been boosted by government fiscal policy that includes numerous subsidies ranging from business reshoring to travel.

The “GoTo Travel” campaign, which provides discounts for domestic travel, has been integral in bolstering a hospitality industry ravaged by a near elimination of international visitors. The program likely also contributed to increased spread of COVID-19 and a recent uptick in new cases and deaths. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suge is reportedly considering reinstating a state of emergency for Tokyo to curb the surge in infections.

In the medium-term, controlling the pandemic is critical for Suge, who faces a leadership race for his Liberal Democratic party in September. Japan’s third stimulus bill passed last month, included expanded subsidies to businesses who must end daily operations early, highlighting the government’s effort to maintain both fiscal support and curbs on public life. Expect consumer confidence to fade slightly in the short-term if tighter restrictions are needed before widespread inoculations are possible.

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