JP: Retail Sales

Wed Dec 27 17:50:00 CST 2017

Consensus Actual Previous
Year over Year 1.3% 2.2% -0.2%

Retail sales in Japan advanced 2.2 percent on the year in November, rebounding from a decline of 0.2 percent in October and stronger than the consensus forecast for an increase of 1.3 percent. Seasonally-adjusted retail sales increased by 1.9 percent on the month after no change in October.

The improvement in headline retail sales growth in November was broad-based but largely driven by stronger sales of food and beverages. These rose 0.2 percent on the year in November after dropping 1.7 percent in October. Fuel sales also grew by 11.4 percent on the year in November, accelerating from 6.0 percent in October, while year-on-year growth in vehicle sales picked up from 3.4 percent to 4.6 percent. Sales of fabric, apparel and accessories also strengthened, as did sales of machinery and equipment.

Data released earlier in the week showed real household spending rose 1.7 percent on the year in November after no change in October, with spending on food and fuel also driving much of this improvement.

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.