Japan's retail trade increased 1 percent from a year earlier in March 2019, following a 0.6 percent growth in the previous month and beating market expectations of 0.8 percent, as sales rose for food & beverages (1.6 percent vs -0.6 percent); fuel (1.6 percent vs -1.2 percent); machinery & equipment (5.5 percent vs 1.4 percent); fabrics & apparel accessories (0.8 percent vs 0.3 percent); motor vehicles (2.3 percent vs 6.4 percent); and medicine & toiletry stores (0.6 percent vs 1.8 percent). By contrast, sales fell for general merchandise (-0.7 percent vs -3.1 percent), nonstore retailers (-1.7 percent vs -0.8 percent), and others (-1.1 percent vs 0.8 percent). Retail Sales YoY in Japan averaged 4.55 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.
Retail Sales YoY in Japan is expected to be 2.10 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 1.00 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.