Japan's Nov. consumer confidence up amid stock recovery

Consumer confidence in Japan improved in November as stock prices recovered after falling sharply the previous month due to jitters ignited by the U.S. debt ceiling impasse, the government said Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted index of sentiment among households made up of two or more people rose 1.3 points from October to 42.5, the Cabinet Office said. Readings below 50 indicate pessimists outnumber optimists.

The government left its basic assessment of the index intact, saying consumer confidence is "on an improving trend."

The result came as the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rallied above 15,000 in mid-November, after briefly plunging below 14,000 in early October when concern spiked that the White House and Congress would fail to agree to lift the U.S. debt ceiling and Washington may be forced to default on its debt.

In November, three of the index's four components climbed.

Consumers' view of income growth rose 1.9 points to 39.6 as hopes grew for increases in winter bonuses given recent improvement in corporate profits, a Cabinet office official said.

Consumers' near-term readiness to buy durable goods fell 0.1 point to 43.1, but their assessment of employment conditions gained 1.8 points to 48.1 and of livelihoods by 1.6 points to 39.3.

The survey also showed that 89.2 percent of households expect consumer prices to rise in the year ahead, down 0.3 point from October, as gas prices and electricity charges slid in November, the official said.

The survey conducted Nov. 15 covered 8,400 households and valid responses were received from 5,780 households.