JP: Retail Sales

Tue Feb 27 17:50:00 CST 2018

Consensus Actual Previous
Year over Year 2.0% 1.6% 3.6%

Retail sales in Japan advanced 1.6 percent on the year in January, down from growth of 3.6 percent in December, which had been the strongest growth since early 2015. Seasonally-adjusted retail sales fell 1.8 percent on the month after an increase of 0.9 percent in December.

The decline in headline retail sales growth was partly driven weaker year-on-year growth on food and beverages, up 2.0 percent in January after increasing by 2.3 percent previously. Most other major categories of spending also recorded weaker growth in January, including fuel, motor vehicles, clothing, and machinery and equipment. Household spending data for January are scheduled for publication early next month.

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.