Japan’s April Retail Sales Jump 12%

Japan’s April Retail Sales Jump 12%

Ginza shopping district in Tokyo. Shutterstock

Japan’s retail sales surged in April, compared to the same period last year, largely thanks to the comparatively low base of figures in April 2020, when the country’s Covid-19 restrictions were even stricter than those currently in place.

Year-on-year, retail sales rose 12 percent, the government said on Monday, citing a strong appetite for general merchandise and clothing, in particular. This said, on a seasonally adjusted month-to-month basis, retail sales were down 4.5 percent, as recent measures to combat the pandemic are dealing a blow to consumer sentiment.

There is widening concern that Japan’s economy could fall into recession in the current quarter, after the government extended a state of emergency for Tokyo and other major areas until June 20, which is likely to further hurt consumer spending over the next few months.

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