|Year over Year||1.3%||1.6%||0.9%|
Unlike the household spending measure, July retail sales were up 1.6 percent from a year ago after increasing 1.0 percent in June. It was the fourth consecutive increase. Sales were not as robust as they were in the prior two months with May increasing 3.0 percent and April, 4.9 percent.
Auto sales were up for a fourth month, this time increasing 3.5 percent after jumping 7.9 percent in June. Food & beverage sales were also up for a fourth month. They increased 4.0 percent. Machinery sales rebounded with an increase of 3.3 percent after declining 3.9 percent in June. Fuel sales were down for the tenth straight month, dropping 9.1 percent after sinking 10.5 percent in June. .
Retail sales measure the total receipts at stores that sell durable and nondurable goods.
Another way to look at consumer spending in addition to the household spending survey is through the retail sales report. This report gives the total value of goods and services sold each month at retail outlets. The preferred number is the change from the previous year. The report serves as a direct gauge of consumption and consumer confidence. Consumer spending is one of the most important leading indicators for the Japanese economy. Increasing sales signal consumer confidence and economic growth, but higher consumption also leads to inflationary pressures.
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