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New Indices to Measure Consumer Sentiment and Product and Commodity Prices.

Efforts for taking on quicker and more detailed provision of information

December 27, 2019

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) jointly developed new indices, as an effort under industry-academia-government collaboration, to ascertain purchase sentiment of consumers and empirical commodity prices, derived from sales trends by type of product that are identified using POS data owned by private companies. METI hereby publicized the pilot version of the indices.

These indices help users ascertain the level of consumers’ tendency in demanding products with premium value as well as commodity prices that consumers experience in their daily lives. Such information may not be easy to find in existing governmental statistics alone. Accordingly, the indices are expected to become referential information for manufacturers in setting prices of products or for retail stores in determining products to be sold.

1. Overview of economic indices taking advantage of big data

As part of initiatives involving ongoing statistics reform advanced by the government, Japan should push forward with efforts making use of new data sources, including POS data, as one of the means for ascertaining economic trends in detail at an early stage, or for reducing the burdens of reporting statistics from personnel in charge.

Taking advantage of big data, e.g., POS data, data not linked to personal information, owned by private companies, METI has complemented, expanded and detailed the existing governmental statistics, developed outstanding indices that can be publicized more quickly than the conventional ones, and streamlined existing governmental statistics, industrial statistics and other data into a dashboard. Based on these outcomes, METI is now advancing a demonstration project for uncovering short-term trends in sales and production.

2. Details of the development of new indices

In this project, in cooperation with the Financial Engineering & Technology Research Center of Nomura Securities Co., Ltd. and Dr. Konishi外部リンク  Yoko, Senior Research Fellow, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI), METI developed new indices to ascertain the level of consumers’ tendency in demanding products with premium value and the commodity prices that consumers experience in their daily lives. These are derived from trends in sales by type of product that are identified by data by type of business in the retail industry, such as supermarkets, convenience stores, DIY stores and drug stores. It started publicizing the indices through the “BigData-STATS Dashboard (β version),” a new tool installed on the METI website.

- METI × NOMURA: Consumer sentiment indices (“indices for consumer sentiment”)

1) POS - Trends in demanding products with premium value (“indices for petite luxury”)

These indices measure the level of consumers’ tendency in demanding products with premium value, derived from trends in sales of luxury products and bargain products in the same product fields.

2) POS - Convenience tendency indices (“indices for user-friendliness”)

These indices measure the level of consumers who place priority on user-friendliness, derived from trends in sales by type of retail business that offer products with different price setting.

3) POS - Empirical, daily-life commodity prices indices

These indices measure commodity prices that consumers experience in their daily lives, derived from trends in sales of products that consumers frequently buy.

4) CPI nowcast (“indices for forecasting consumer prices”)

These indices forecast consumer price indices (CPI), using of macro indices and wholesale prices of fresh products.

3. Call for public comments

METI will endeavor to improve the dashboard from time to time according to progress made in the demonstration project, such as by streamlining and publicizing the existing governmental statistics and other data as well. In addition, the various types of indices that METI has publicized are pilot versions. In this regard, METI has been holding and will continue to hold discussions as to the use of data owned by private companies, etc.

In this context, METI will open a call for public comments on and requests for the indices that METI has publicized, aiming to provide data with higher quality.

METI will refer to the comments and requests to be received in developing new indices and improving the accuracy thereof.

Send your comments to: Personnel in charge of development of indices based on utilization of information owned by private companies
Email address: bigdata_pj_2019@meti.go.jpメールリンク

For details of the “METI × NOMURA: Consumer sentiment indices,” visit the following website and find more information.

Title of the website

Schedule of update

Every Friday, in principle (the website is scheduled to be updated until March 31, 2020.)

Types of the indices to be publicized

The following indices have been publicized.

Improvement of functions

METI is scheduled to further improve these indices, such as publicizing streamlined data on the existing governmental statistics, soon after it completes preparations for the publication.

4. Note to data users

A variety of indices that METI publicizes on the website are pilot versions to quickly identify economic activities in detail, which users may not find only by retrieving the existing governmental statistics.

Meanwhile, as the purpose of collecting data sources is not for preparing any governmental statistics, data sources may contain biased data, noise or, partially, unevenness for some types of businesses and regions. Please note these points when using the dashboard.

5. Companies participating in this project

Company to which METI commissioned the project

Intage Research Inc. (Higashikurume City, Tokyo; 6012701004917)

Companies to which Intage Research recommissioned the project

Cooperators

Note: Information in parentheses show the address of the main office and the corporate number of the respective company.

Related Document

Division in Charge

Research and Analysis Support Office, Research and Statistics Department, Minister’s Secretariat