Japanese retail continues upward trend amid factory output decline

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29th February 2024 – (Tokyo) Japan’s retail sector recorded a 2.3 per cent increase in sales this January compared to the same month last year, according to government figures released on Thursday. This uplift marks the continuation of a two-year-long streak of monthly gains for the retail industry, aligning precisely with the median market predictions.

On the flip side, the nation’s industrial production experienced a setback, with factory output taking a sharp 7.5 per cent downturn in January from December. The decline was slightly more pronounced than market analysts’ median forecast of a 7.3 per cent fall. This contraction points to the underlying challenges facing the manufacturing sector in the world’s third-largest economy.

However, there is a glimmer of optimism on the horizon. Projections gathered from manufacturers by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry suggest a potential rebound. The forecast anticipates a seasonally adjusted increase of 4.8 per cent in factory output for February, followed by a further 2.0 per cent rise in March, hinting at an impending recovery.