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Economy in Brief

Japan’s Real Retail Sales Fall Sharply
by Robert Brusca July 30, 2008

Nominal retail sales fell by 0.2% in June as inflation pushed ahead driving real retail sales to a 0.7% drop. Inflation adjusted sales have been dropping at an increasingly rapid rate. But, Yr/Yr sales growth is still positive. In the quarter to date, real retail sales are falling at a 2.8% annual pace.

Japan shows signs of economic slippage as the authorities have been expressing more concerns. Japan’s Economics Minister Hiroko Ota said that weak job data reflected a stalling in Japan's economy. Government data showed that the jobless rate rose in June to a near two-year high of 4.1 percent and household spending fell again from a year earlier, in a sigh of further trouble for an economy already battered by surging energy costs and faced with slowing exports. Retail sales adjusted for inflation are another sign in this series of measures reminding us that Japan is facing severe challenges.

Japan Retail Sales Trends
Total Retail Sales Jun
08
May
08
Apr
08
3MO 6MO 12MO YrAgo QTR-to Date
Sales SA 0.0% -0.1% -0.1% -0.8% 0.2% 0.3% 0.6% -0.8%
Motor Vehicles -3.1% -3.2% 1.7% -17.0% -12.1% -0.7% -5.3% -13.0%
Food & Beverages -0.3% 2.3% -0.5% 6.0% 6.4% 3.6% -0.3% 5.1%
Fabrics & Apparel 2.2% -0.2% -2.5% -2.2% 4.9% -1.3% -4.8% -9.0%
Real Retail -0.7% -0.7% 0.2% -4.8% -2.4% -1.7% 0.7% -2.8%
Memo: CPI 0.7% 0.6% -0.3% 4.0% 2.6% 2.0% -0.1% 2.0%
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