|Year over Year||-0.6%||-1.0%||1.8%|
November retail sales were down a greater than expected 1.0 percent from a year ago. Expectations were for a decline of 0.6 percent. The drop partially offset October's 1.8 percent gain. This reading confirms the November drop of 2.9 percent in household spending. Food & beverage sales were up 1.7 percent on the year while autos were 0.9 percent higher. The gains were offset by a plunge of 14.2 percent in fuel sales after sinking 13.2 percent in October. Retail machinery sales slipped 0.2 percent after gaining 0.5 percent last time. Apparel sales retreated 0.9 percent after jumping 8.0 percent in October.
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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