October 15, 2019

Retail Sales Japan

Retail sales remain subdued in the first 3 months of 2019

Published monthly by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. Updated till the month of August 2019 (published on October 15th, 2019)

Recent data trend

In March 2019, retail sales expanded by 0.2% month on month (MoM) after a seasonal adjustment, after growing by 0.4% MoM in February. The expansion in these two months looks weak though, in view of the 1.8% MoM plunge it suffered in January 2019. On average, the retail sales level in the January-March quarter was 1.3% lower than the prevailing level in the October-December 2018 quarter. The source of the weakness is hard to pin down. We see that motor vehicle sales are particularly down in th...

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Brief overview of “Retail sales”

“Retail sales” is published as a part of “Current survey of commerce”, a survey published monthly by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It is a comprehensive survey on retail activities in Japan and it correlates well to the overall private consumption trend in Japan. According to the statistics, retail sales totaled in 137.6 trillion yen in Japan in 2012. By type of retail stores, food and beverage accounts for 32.0% of the total, followed by motor vehicles (12.1%), fuels (9.8%) and general merchandise (9.2%). Comparative figures in the U.S. retail sales in 2012 were 14.5% for food and beverage, 20.3% for motor vehicles, 12.7% for gasoline station and 15.1% for general merchandise. Retail sales in Japan peaked in 1997 at 146.3 trillion yen before it started a sharp decline to 132.3 trillion yen in 2003. It was a period of time when Japan faced the first nationwide financial crisis since WWII. Since 2003, retail sales seems to be on a moderate recovery path with a brief setback in 2010 amid the great global recession


For more information, visit the official government page

The Next Release Date:  October 30th, 2019 (Preliminary September data)

                                      November 14th, 2019 (Final September data)








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