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Explanation of Consumer Confidence Survey

As of April, 2016

1. Purpose of the Survey

  • The survey seeks to gain a quick understanding of shifts in consumer perception, price expectation, expenditure on services, and purchasing/replacement of principle consumer durables, as a basic tool for evaluating economic trends.

2. Survey Area

  • 50.6 million households in Japan, not including foreigners, students and institutional households.(based on the 2010 Population Census)

3. Survey Coverage

  • 8,400 households (households of two or more persons are 5,712, one-person households are 2,688) are sampled using a three-level stratified random sampling method of city/town/village, local unit, and household. Students, institutional households, and foreigner households are excluded.
  • One-fifteenth of surveyed households are replaced every month.(All the surveyed households will answer the questionnaire for 15 months.)

(note)The sample size was 6,720 households (households of two or more persons are 4,704, one-person households are 2,016) before March 2013.

4. Timing of the Survey

  • The survey is conducted on the 15th of every month.

5. Survey Organizations and System

  • The Prime Minister is in charge, and delegates the conducting of the survey to a private business operator (the Shin Joho Center carries out this survey from FY2016 to FY2017).
  • The survey introduced a mail survey method from April 2013.
    Specifically, the first month, investigators visit households to ask for cooperation in this survey. When the households agree to cooperate, the investigators hand out a questionnaire and revisit the households later to receive it. After the second month, the questionnaire is mailed to the households, households fill it in and post it.

(note) The survey method before March 2013; direct-visit and self-completion questionnaires. (This method is like the first month of the current survey method.)

6. Survey Variables

  • Consumer perceptions in coming six months (every month)
  • Price expectations a year ahead (every month)
  • Expenditure plan on services (every quarter) [data provided only in Japanese]
  • The state of possessing/replacement principle consumer durables (only for the March survey) [data provided only in Japanese]
  • State of the household (every month)

7. Calculating the Consumer Perception Indexes and the Consumer Confidence Index

  • Consumer perceptions of the following five categories are surveyed: overall livelihood, income growth, employment, willingness to buy durable goods, and asset value. Respondents are asked to evaluate on a scale of one to five what they consider the prospects to be for the five subjects over the next six months.
  • Points are then allotted in accordance with the one-to-five scale for each category based on the anticipated effects on consumption. The consumer perception index is calculated by computing the weighted average of the points of the results (component ratio).
Consumer perception index:
 The following evaluation points in the five response categories are multiplied by the component ratio(%) and totaled: positive responses (improve +1), (improve slightly +0.75); neutral response (no change +0.5); negative responses (worsen slightly+0.25), (worsen +0).
  • The consumer confidence index is comprised of four consumer confidence perceptions;overall livelihood, income growth, employment, and willingness to buy durable goods. It (original figure) is calculated by simply averaging the four consumer perception indexes (original figures).

Seasonal Adjustment Method

  • Data are seasonally adjusted using the X-12-ARIMA of the Census Bureau of USA. Seasonally adjusted data are annually revised in the March survey.
  • The four consumer perception indexes that constitute of the consumer confidence index are seasonally adjusted with ARIMA models listed in the table below, and the consumer confidence index is then indirectly derived. Other indexes are seasonally adjusted without using ARIMA models.
  • The survey method was changed from April 2013, so that ARIMA models from April 2013 are different from those of before.
  • The consumer confidence perception of asset value is seasonally adjusted with X-11 default of X-12-ARIMA.
table 1 Before March 2013
perception of the following aspects in next six months ARIMAmodel
Overall Livelihood (110)(000)
Income growth (110)(000)
Employment (210)(100)
Willingness to buy durable goods (311)(000)
table 2 After April 2013
perception of the following aspects in next six months ARIMAmodel
Overall Livelihood (110)(000)
Income growth (011)(011)
Employment (012)(001)
Willingness to buy durable goods (110)(000)

8. Others

  • The survey was starts in 1957, though it has gone through several changes since then. Therefore, the time series data of Consumer Confidence Index and Consumer Perception Indices start from June 1982, and the time series data of the price expectation start from April 2004.
  • The survey was conducted quarterly until March 2004, and it used direct-visit and self-completion questionnaires.
  • The survey was conducted every month from April 2004, however the survey method was mixed; by telephone in months other than June, September, December, and March of the subsequent year, and those four months used direct-visit and self-completion questionnaires. It continued until March 2007.
  • The survey used direct-visit and self-completion questionnaires every month from April 2007 to March 2013.
  • The seasonally adjusted data of the monthly consumer confidence index and its four consumer perception indexes were released from the March 2011 survey.
  • The Survey introduced a mail survey method from April 2013 Survey. The examination survey was carried out from July 2012 to March 2013 because a survey method change could have some impacts on results of the survey.

   For further details
please contact the Department of Business Statistics, Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office.
Cabinet Office, Government of JapanEconomic and Social Research Institute
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8914, Japan.