|Year over Year||1.5%||2.1%||0.1%|
Retail sales in Japan grew by 2.1 percent in March, accelerating from an increase of 0.1 percent in February and exceeding the consensus forecast for an increase of 1.5 percent. This is the fifth consecutive year-on-year increase in retail sales and the strongest since May 2015. Retail sales advanced a seasonally-adjusted 0.2 percent on the month in March, as they did in February.
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.