The diffusion index that shows business confidence among big manufacturers stood at plus 6 in September, unchanged for two successive quarters, and business sentiment among large non-manufacturers dropped to plus 18 from plus 19 for the third straight quarterly fall, the Bank of Japan (BOJ)’s Tankan quarterly survey showed on Oct. 3.
Japan’s economy has been marking time due in part to the strong yen as it still fails to create a positive growth cycle pursued by the BOJ and the government.
“Sales of women’s clothing have been bad since the beginning of this year,” said a senior sales official in charge of women’s apparel at the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district. Sales of women’s clothing dropped 15 percent in September from a year earlier due in part to a decline in the number of visiting customers caused by bad weather. The department store will try to regain lost ground by setting up a space this autumn for low-priced products targeting women aged around 50, but it remains unclear whether it can expect a boost in sales.
“Abenomics,” the economic policy mix promoted by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is aimed at creating a positive growth cycle for the economy by implementing bold financial and fiscal policies to change the sentiment of consumers in such a way as to help in turn to boost capital investment and consumption. But sales at three of four major department stores on a like-for-like basis posted declines in September from the same month last year, according to data released on Oct. 3.