TOKYO: According to the quarterly consumer survey conducted by the Japanese Cabinet Office, downbeat consumers got fractionally cheerier in September, envisaging skies of a slightly less grey hue over the next six months.

The index for the quarterly consumer-confidence survey enjoyed its first rise in five months, creeping up by an infinitesimal 0.1 point to 44.1 in September from 44 in August.

Commented a Cabinet official: "The recovery of consumer sentiment partly reflects the decline in oil prices."

And in a wild burst of bureaucratic enthusiasm, the government upgraded its assessment of consumer sentiment from "weak" in August to "almost flat".

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff