The Bank of Japan (BOJ) released it's 38th annual "public opinion" survey today to the English speaking audience; proving among other things that the power of propaganda is alive and well in places other than the United States. The BOJ's survey questioned 4000 respondents concerning their current perception of the economy, and whether things will "get better" soon. An astounding 89.5% of respondents answered that current economic conditions "are unfavorable"; although the central bank was happy to report that that figure had declined from the levels reached in March, indicating an increased level of optimism amongst the populace.
The bank also reported that 22.1% of respondents cited "Bustle of shopping streets and amusement quarters" as their basis for assessment of economic conditions - what does this really mean anyways?. Furthermore, the number of those who relied on economic indicators for their assessment dropped by more than 10% from the March period - an inevitable truth based upon the fact that any population of people actually paying attention to the real numbers right now would not be trending towards the optimistic side.
When you reach the section of the report that matters most to people though - their personal income - the Bank of Japan is forced to reveal that the proportion of respondents citing a decrease in their income over the past year rose. Given that fact, it strikes us as quite interesting that a decimated income would produce positive thoughts about the economic future. Therein lies the real trick: convince folks that despite a shriveling income, prosperity is just around the corner.
Bank of Japan Public Opinion Survey 8-3-09
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