Sunday, March 28, 2010

Japanese Consumer Showing Signs of Life

Bloomberg details:

Japan’s retail sales gained at the fastest pace in more than a decade in February as the economic recovery spread to households.

Sales rose 4.2 percent from a year earlier, the Trade Ministry said today in Tokyo. That was the biggest monthly jump since March 1997, when they advanced 12.4 percent, according to Bloomberg data. The median estimate of 12 economists surveyed was for a 1.6 percent climb.

An export-fueled recovery and government stimulus spending are beginning to create jobs and support wages, improving prospects for companies including Dydo Drinco Inc. A turnaround in employment will continue to support consumer spending, according to economist Julian Jessop.

From a month earlier, retail sales unexpectedly climbed 0.9 percent, the second consecutive gain. None of the eight economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted an increase, and their median estimate was for a 1.2 percent drop.

Consumer confidence advanced for a second month in February, led by sentiment about employment, a sign households may boost outlays in coming months as fears of being fired recede. Japan’s economy added the most jobs in more than three decades in January, unexpectedly sending the unemployment rate to a 10- month low of 4.9 percent. Workers’ pay declined at the slowest pace in 19 months.
While the 4.2% year over year jump is against a collapsed low, the fact that the Japanese consumer has come back to near pre-crisis spending levels is encouraging for any lasting recovery.

Source: Meti.GO


  1. Jake,
    all they have to do is stop saving and spend like there is no tomorrow, like we do. That is the path to true prosperity; blow it all! Good job Japan!

    Was worried about you, no weekly summary, hope all is well.

  2. The recent payments to households with younger children may have something to do with this.

  3. GYSC-

    out of town for personal (i.e. fun) reasons. thanks for the concern!

    while everyone can't spend their way to recovery, there needs to be some sort of final demand. may as well be from the area of the world where they have a large current account surplus.