Saturday, March 31, 2012

No. 20: Savings, association, and health come to the fore because of yen’s depreciation (April 1, 2012)

Market trend
Japanese yen recovered the level of 80 yen per U.S. dollar in mid-February, and the closing value of the Nikkei Stock Average also recovered the level of 10,000 yen in mid-March. However, the low yen means higher gasoline price. The price of regular gasoline stood at 157.6 yen per liter today, recording the highest price in the past three and a half year. An increasing number of drivers buy gasoline for a fixed value instead of filling up the tank. Another changes in consumer behavior are foreseen.

The unstable political world still makes consumers worry about the economic prospect, and it will supposedly take time to improve the thrifty attitudes of Japanese consumers. But sales of ecology-related products and products to support the recovery of the disaster-stricken areas will go up steadily. LED light fittings and renewable energy systems like residential solar panels will maintain the sales with the background of growing awareness of energy saving.

The March 11 disaster of last year made the association between Japanese even stronger. Many thanks, Facebook! The efforts of devastated prefectures to market their commercial and agricultural products of local specialty will continue to stimulate domestic consumption. On the rebound of satiation, the health conscious trend will grow stronger as shown by the rampant TV commercials of health-care equipment and growing sales of fermented foods. As is often the case, the pendulum swings from side to side.   

An increasing number of convenience stores employ LED lighting for in-store illuminations.

The solar panel market for housing is growing fast with the background of the energy-saving attitudes among consumers. 

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