Japan's retail sales declined by 2.1 percent year-on-year in November 2019, compared with market expectations of a 1.7 percent drop and after a 7 percent fall in the previous month, as consumer sentiment remained depressed after October's sales tax hike. Decreases were seen in sales of general merchandise (-4.4% vs -13.3% in October), fabrics apparel & accessories (-0.1% vs -5.9%), motor vehicles (-5.9% vs -16.8%), machinery & equipment (-7.8% vs -14.7%), fuel (-7.1% vs -12.7%), and other (-1.8% vs -5.7%). In contrast, sales grew for food & beverages (0.4% vs -1.9%), and medicine & toiletry stores (2.6% vs 0.6%). On a monthly basis, retail sales advanced 4.5 percent in November, compared with forecasts of a 4.6 percent gain and following a revised 14.2 percent fall in October. Retail Sales YoY in Japan averaged 4.49 percent from 1971 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 36.50 percent in January of 1979 and a record low of -14.30 percent in March of 1998. source: Ministry of Economy Trade & Industry (METI)

Retail Sales YoY in Japan is expected to be -4.40 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Retail Sales YoY in Japan to stand at 2.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Japan Retail Sales is projected to trend around 0.90 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.


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Japan Retail Sales

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-2.10 -7.00 36.50 -14.30 1971 - 2019 percent Monthly



Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-09-29 11:50 PM Aug 2% -2% 0.9% 1%
2019-10-29 11:50 PM Sep 9.1% 1.8% 6.9% 4%
2019-11-27 11:50 PM Oct -7.1% 9.2% -4.4% -4%
2019-12-26 11:50 PM Nov -2.1% -7% -1.7% -2.8%
2020-01-30 11:50 PM Dec -2.1% -4.4%


News Stream
2019-11-28
Japan Retail Sales Plunge on New Sales Tax
Japan's retail sales plummeted 7.1 percent year-on-year in October 2019 following a 9.2 percent surge in the previous month and compared to market expectations of a 4.4 percent drop, as the new sales tax hit October sales hard. It was the biggest decline in retail trade since March 2015, mainly dragged by machinery & equipment (-15.0 percent from 37.8 percent), general merchandise (-13.2 percent from 14.0 percent), motor vehicles (-17.0 percent from 16.9 percent) and fuel (-13.0 percent from -0.1 percent). Sales also declined sharply for fabrics, apparel & accessories (-5.7 percent vs 2.0 percent), non store retailers (-4.1 percent vs 15.6 percent), and food & beverages (-2.2 percent vs 1.2 percent). On a monthly basis, retail sales plunged 14.4 percent in October after an upwardly revised 7.2 percent rise, falling by the steepest rate ever.

2019-10-30
Japan Retail Sales Rise the Most in 5-1/2-Years
Japan's retail sales jumped 9.1 percent year-on-year in September 2019, following a 1.8 percent rise in the previous month and easily beating market expectations of 6.9 percent gain. It was the biggest increase in retail trade since March of 2014, mainly boosted by general merchandise (13.9 percent from 0.2 percent in August). Also, sales went up further for motor vehicles (16.9 percent from 2.2 percent); machinery & equipment (37.9 percent from 12.1 percent); medicine & toiletry stores (16.4 percent from 6 percent); and food & beverages (1.1 percent from 0.7 percent). Additionally, sales of fuel dropped less (-0.4 percent vs -3.6 percent). On a monthly basis, retail sales jumped 7.1 percent in September after a downwardly revised 4.6 percent rise.

2019-08-30
Japan Retail Sales Shrink 2% in July
Japan's retail trade contracted 2.0 percent year-on-year in July 2019, following a 0.5 percent climb in the previous month and compared to market expectations of a 0.8 percent drop. Sales fell further for general merchandise (-5.8 percent vs -2.5 percent), fuel (-6.0 percent vs -3.6 percent), and others (-5.4 percent vs -0.2 percent). Also, sales of fabrics, apparel & accessories declined by 5.3 percent (vs 4.2 percent in June) and of machinery & equipment by 8.1 percent (vs 5.5 percent in June). In contrast, motor vehicle sales rose 2.9 percent (vs -1.2 percent in June). On a monthly basis, retail sales declined 2.3 percent in July after remaining unchanged in June.

2019-07-29
Japan Retail Sales Growth Slows in June
Japan's retail trade increased by 0.5 percent year-on-year in June 2019, easing from an upwardly revised 1.3 percent gain in the previous month and compared to market expectations of a 0.2 percent advance. Sales rose at a softer pace for both machinery & equipment (5.6 percent vs 5.9 percent in May) and medicine & toiletries (2 percent vs 4.7 percent). In addition, sales declined for general merchandise (-2.6 percent vs -2.2 percent), motor vehicles (-0.9 percent vs 2.2 percent), fuel (-3.9 percent vs 0.3 percent), and others (-0.5 percent vs -1.1 percent). In contrast, sales growth accelerated for fabrics apparel & accessories (4.2 percent vs 4 percent) and food & beverages (1.5 percent vs 1.3 percent). On a monthly basis, retail sales were flat in June, following an upwardly revised 0.4 percent rise in May.

2019-06-27
Japan Retail Sales Growth at 5-Month High
Japan's retail trade increased 1.2 percent from a year earlier in May 2019, the most since December, following a downwardly revised 0.4 percent climb in the previous month and matching market expectations. The increase was mainly explained by a 2.0 percent rebound for motor vehicle sales, after falling 1.7 percent in the previous month. Also, sales of fabrics apparel & accessories rebounded 4.1 percent after a 0.5 percent drop. In addition, machinery & equipment sales grew 5.6 percent after expanding 2.1 percent. In contrast, general merchandise sales shrank 2.0 percent (versus -3.4 percent in April). On a monthly basis, retail sales rose 0.3 percent in May.

2019-05-31
Japan Retail Sales Lose Steam
Japan's retail trade increased 0.5 percent from a year earlier in April 2019, following a 1.0 percent climb in the previous month and below market expectations of 0.8 percent. It was the slowest growth since October of 2017. Sales were mainly nudged by further growth in sales of fuel (3.4 percent vs 1.4 percent in March) and medicine & toiletry (5.8 percent vs 0.8 percent). In contrast, sales declined for general merchandise (-3.4 percent vs -0.9 percent) motor vehicles (-1.4 percent vs +2.5 percent), and fabrics apparel & accessories (-0.2 percent vs +0.9 percent). On a monthly basis, retail sales remained unchanged after climbing 0.2 percent in March.


Japan Retail Sales
In Japan, the year-over-year change in Retail sales compares the aggregated sales of retail goods and services during a certain month to the same month a year ago.

Japan Consumer Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Consumer Confidence 39.10 38.70 50.80 27.50 points [+]
Retail Sales MoM 4.50 -14.20 8.30 -14.20 percent [+]
Retail Sales YoY -2.10 -7.00 36.50 -14.30 percent [+]
Household Spending -2.00 -5.10 9.50 -10.60 percent [+]
Consumer Spending 303045.20 301418.50 306211.50 150439.60 JPY Billion [+]
Disposable Personal Income 389.94 446.42 1079.95 35.36 JPY Thousand [+]
Personal Savings 25.10 29.30 55.00 -9.90 percent [+]
Bank Lending Rate 0.95 0.95 9.90 0.90 percent [+]
Gasoline Prices 1.37 1.35 2.00 0.91 USD/Liter [+]
Households Debt To GDP 58.70 58.20 72.20 20.30 percent of GDP [+]
Consumer Credit 322298.00 320489.00 518228.00 278351.00 JPY Billion [+]