Japan’s industrial Production Falls as Retail Sales Rise

Japan’s economy offered a mixed reading Monday, with retail sales for May beating expectations while industrial production disappointed.

Industrial output fell 2.2 percent on month in May, worse than a Reuters poll forecast for a 0.8 percent decline. That spurred the government to say industrial production is stagnating and cut its forecast, according to Reuters.

“The plunge in industrial production in May points to a contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) this quarter,” Marcel Thieliant, a Japan economist at Capital Economics, said in a note Monday. “The Bank of Japan will have to step up the pace of easing before too long.”

But Japan’s consumers have stepped up to the plate, with retail sales rising 3.0 percent on year in May, beating a forecast for a 2.3 percent rise from a Reuters poll. That’s consistent with data released last week showing household expenditures climbed more than expected in May.

Japan’s policymakers have struggled to kick start the economy after decades of deflation, with the Bank of Japan launching a massive easing program in 2013 as part of “Abenomics,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to return the country to growth.
But after a consumption tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent in April of 2014, the economy got clobbered when consumers stopped spending, forcing the government to postpone a second sales tax initially due this October.

via CNBC

Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza