Japan’s Retail Sales Fall in October as Car Sales Drop

Japan’s retail sales fell in October by the most in 11 months as consumers purchased fewer cars and televisions, adding pressure on the government to stimulate an economy that may be entering a recession.

Sales fell 1.2 percent from a year earlier, the Trade Ministry said in Tokyo today, after a 0.4 percent advance in September. The median estimate of 10 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 0.8 percent decline. From a month earlier, sales increased 0.7 percent.

Weakening consumer demand is dragging on growth in the world’s third-largest economy before Dec. 16 elections. Candidates from the two largest political parties have said they will implement additional spending to rekindle expansion after exports fell for a fifth month in October and wages stagnated.

“Japan’s consumption has been losing steam since September, when the government terminated subsidies for energy- efficient car purchases,” said Azusa Kato, an economist at BNP Paribas SA in Tokyo. “Weakening overseas demand has hurt employment and wages, discouraging spending,” she said.

via Bloomberg

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