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Japanese consumer confidence dives to record low, Nikkei falls

Both Japanese consumer sentiment and the country’s stock average have fallen in response to the disastrous events of last month.

A man scratches his head in front of the electronic stock board in Tokyo Tuesday, April 12, 2011 as stocks fell.
A man scratches his head in front of the electronic stock board in Tokyo Tuesday, April 12, 2011 as stocks fell.
Image: Koji Sasahara/AP/Press Association Images

JAPANESE CONSUMER CONFIDENCE has fallen at a record pace in April, following March’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

New data released by the Cabinet Office has shown that consumer sentiment fell to a two-year low of 33.2 in April, compared to 38.6 the previous month. The drop was the sharpest since April 2004 – when records began, AFP reports.

A consumer sentiment reading of below 50 indicates pessimism, the BBC reports.

The fall in consumer confidence has been linked to those directly and indirectly affected by the disaster. Many have “refrained from spending money on going to amusement parks or drinking and eating to respect those living in disaster areas chief economist at JP Morgan Securities Masaki Kaano said.

Some analysts expect confidence to recover next month.

Meanwhile, the country’s Nikkei stock average fell on Monday as a result of concerns about growth in the global economy intensified, reducing the demand for European and US stocks. Banks stocks also plunged over concerns about their loans to the embattled Tokyo Electric Company, Reuters reports.

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