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Economic Challenges Prevail: Inflation and Weakened Yen Dampen Holiday Spending Enthusiasm in Japan

Tokyo, December 31, 2023, The Europe Today: Japan’s year-end and New Year holiday spending experienced a significant impact from the confluence of high inflation and a weakened yen, reveals a comprehensive private sector survey. According to marketing firm Intage Inc, despite an average holiday budget of 45,235 yen, marking a substantial 27.8 percent increase from the previous year, over half of respondents expressed intentions to curtail seasonal expenses, encompassing special meals and festive gifts.

A notable 56.2 percent disclosed having no travel plans, and while 18.5 percent contemplated visiting their parents’ homes amid relaxed COVID-19 measures, merely 0.7 percent planned international travel, attributing their decisions to the yen’s depreciation. With recent price escalations, 52.5 percent anticipated trimming seasonal expenditures, particularly impacted by inflation, with 51.3 percent expressing concerns about purchasing festive food items, including osechi New Year dishes.

Despite an anticipated uptick in movement following eased restrictions, the survey, encompassing 5,000 individuals aged 15 to 79 and conducted between Nov 24 and 27, underscores a prevailing conservative mindset toward savings among the populace.

An Intage official remarked, “The movement of people will increase, but their savings mindset remains strong.”