JP: Retail Sales

Tue Nov 28 17:50:00 CST 2017

Consensus Actual Previous Revised
Year over Year -0.4% -0.2% 2.2% 2.3%

Retail sales in Japan fell 0.2 percent on the year in October, down from an increase of 2.3 percent in September but slightly stronger than the consensus forecast for a drop of 0.4 percent. This is the first year-on-year decline in retail sales in twelve months. Seasonally-adjusted retail sales were flat on the month, slowing from an increase of 0.8 percent in September.

The year-on-year fall in headline retail sales in October was mainly driven by weaker sales of food and beverages, down 1.5 percent on the year after an increase of 0.6 percent in September. Sales also fell on the year for general merchandise, machinery and equipment, and non-store retailers. Motor vehicle sales rose 3.2 percent on the year in October, down from growth of 5.9 percent in September, but this was partly offset by stronger year-on-year growth in fuel sales, up from 4.9 percent to 6.0 percent.

Household spending data for October 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.