JP: Retail Sales

Thu Apr 26 18:50:00 CDT 2018

Consensus Actual Previous Revised
Year over Year 1.3% 1.0% 1.6% 1.7%

Retail sales in Japan advanced 1.0 percent on the year in March, slowing from revised growth of 1.7 percent in February. This is the weakest growth since October 2017. Seasonally-adjusted retail sales fell 0.7 percent on the month after advancing 0.5 percent previously.

The fall in headline retail sales growth reflects a weaker increase in food and beverages sales, up 1.8 percent on the year in March compared with an increase of 2.5 percent in February, and fuel sales, up 7.0 percent compared with 13.0 percent previously. Motor vehicles sales also fell on the year for a third consecutive month. Weakness in these categories were partly offset by stronger year-on-year growth in clothing and general merchandise sales. Household spending data for March 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.