While Japan’s retail sales increased by a modest 3.6 per cent in May – the third consecutive monthly increase – South Korea saw double-digit growth during the period, according to government data.
In South Korea, the sales of 25 major retailers last month were up from US$10.1 billion to $11.24 billion, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The growth was driven by the surge in demand for apparel items and other services as pre-pandemic normalcy returned.
Offline sales increased by 9.3 per cent, and sales from online platforms advanced 9.3 per cent year on year.
Sporting goods and children’s merchandise saw a 26.8 per cent year-over-year increase in sales. Luxury goods and department stores saw sales increase by 23.6 per cent and 19.9 per cent among offline retailers.
However, sales across discount chain stores and at smaller supermarkets fell by about 3 per cent as demand for agricultural and fisheries products receded.
Meanwhile in Japan, despite the third month of advancement since the government lifted Covid-19 restrictions, the country is expected to see a slow recovery as rising inflation and cost of living led to lower consumption for the rest of the year.
- Additional reporting by Reuters.