Japan's retail trade contracted 2.0 percent year-on-year in July 2019, following a 0.5 percent climb in the previous month and compared to market expectations of a 0.8 percent drop. Sales fell further for general merchandise (-5.8 percent vs -2.5 percent), fuel (-6.0 percent vs -3.6 percent), and others (-5.4 percent vs -0.2 percent). Also, sales of fabrics, apparel & accessories declined by 5.3 percent (vs 4.2 percent in June) and of machinery & equipment by 8.1 percent (vs 5.5 percent in June). In contrast, motor vehicle sales rose 2.9 percent (vs -1.2 percent in June). On a monthly basis, retail sales declined 2.3 percent in July after remaining unchanged in June. Retail Sales YoY in Japan averaged 4.52 percent from 1971 until 2019, 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 8.00 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 2.00 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.