Japan retail sales rebound
Japan retail sales bounced back in April according to trade ministry data.
Rising five per cent in the month, year on year, the figure reversed a three month long downward trend and gave the Bank of Japan room for cautious optimism on the overall state of the nation’s struggling economy. In March, retail sales fell nine per cent, although that was largely due to an irregular March 2014 when consumers brought forward spending prior to a sales tax increase on April 1.
The BoJ says the retail figures show consumers are more confident, easing the pressure on the bank to prolong a stimulus program.
Based on a seasonally adjusted month on month basis, Japan retail sales rose 0.4 per cent in April following a drop of 1.8 per cent in March.
The Japanese economy expanded at the fastest rate in a year in the first quarter, finally emerging from the 2014 recession.