Japanese consumer confidence improved in September as improving employment conditions helped lift sentiment as the nation continues to recover from the March earthquake, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Tuesday.
The survey's index of sentiment among households made up of two or more people increased from 37 in August to 38.6 in the recording period. A reading less than 50 indicates pessimistic views regarding confidence outweigh those surveyed reporting more optimistic views.
Out of the index's four components surveyed in September, the subsections gauging livelihoods and income improved for the fifth consecutive month and, according to the survey, the reading for employment rose for the first time in two months to 34.7 from 31.8.
Improvement in the jobs market tends to translate into positive sentiment among households toward spending, government officials maintained.
The office subsequently upgraded its monthly assessment stating that consumer confidence has been "recovering." Previously the office had said that confidence remained in a "severe condition" but the recovery trend was continuing.
The government's consumer confidence index is based on a five- point scale that measures how consumers see their living conditions, as well as three other categories, improving, declining or remaining roughly the same over the coming six months.
The latest survey polled 6,720 households of which 5,030 households, or 74.9 percent, provided usable data, the office said.