Retail trade in Japan increased 1.4 percent year-on-year in November of 2018, below both the upwardly revised 3.6 percent increase for October and market expectations of a 2.2 percent climb. Sales grew at a slower pace for food & beverages (0.9 percent vs 2.0 percent), motor vehicles (5.3 percent vs 6.5 percent), fuel (8.1 percent vs 15.0 percent), and medicine & toiletry stores (4.6 percent vs 6.5 percent). Meanwhile, there were declines in sales of machinery & equipment (-3.9 percent vs 0.4 percent), general merchandise (-2.9 percent vs -1.5 percent) and fabrics, apparel & accessories (-0.4 percent vs -0.1 percent). On a monthly basis, retail sales went down 1.0 percent. Retail Sales YoY in Japan averaged 4.58 percent from 1971 until 2018, 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 -0.90 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 1.86 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.