|Year over Year||0.7%||0.1%||1.0%|
Retail sales in Japan grew by 0.1 percent year-on-year in February, down from 1.0 percent in January and well short of the consensus forecast for an increase of 0.97 percent.
Weaker headline growth in retail sales largely reflects a drop in food and beverage sales, down 1.5 percent on the year in February after an increase of 1.0 percent in January. This was partly offset by stronger year-on-year growth in fuel sales, up from 7.0 percent to 10.0 percent, and auto sales, up from 4.3 percent to 4.8 percent.
Household spending data for January are scheduled for release later in the week.
Retail Sales measure the total receipts at stores that sell durable and nondurable goods. The data are part of the Preliminary Report on the Current Survey of Commerce.
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.