Japan’s retail sales sustain gain in July
Japan’s retail sales increased for five consecutive months and exceeded expectations in July. The consumer sector continues to bounce back, but a coronavirus resurgence raised uncertainties on the spending outlook.
Retail sales climbed 2.4% from a year earlier, an increase from June’s 0.1% gain. The latest figure beat an economists’ median forecast of 2.1%.
Retail sales gained a seasonally adjusted 1.1% from last month due to a strong consumption first seen in the second quarter.
The trade ministry data highlighted a strong demand for a range of commodities, including vehicles, clothing, general merchandise, and food, while higher gasoline prices aided fuel.
However, Senior Japan Economist Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics noted that this growth is not expected to last due to a renewed weakening in consumption this quarter. Thielant said it was caused by a surge in cases of a more contagious Delta virus variant and the growing list of regions under state of emergency.