JP: Retail Sales

Wed Mar 28 18:50:00 CDT 2018

Consensus Actual Previous Revised
Year over Year 1.4% 1.6% 1.6% 1.5%

Retail sales in Japan advanced 1.6 percent on the year in February, up slightly from revised growth of 1.5 percent in January. Seasonally-adjusted retail sales rose 0.4 percent on the month after dropping 1.6 percent previously.

Steady growth in headline retail sales reflects some offsetting moves in major categories of spending. Food and beverages sales rose 2.3 percent on the year in February, up from 1.7 percent in January, while the year-on-year increase in fuel sales picked up from 11.3 percent to 12.7 percent. This was partly offset by a bigger drop in motor vehicles sales, down 2.1 percent on the year in February after declining 0.6 percent in January. Household spending data for February 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.