Japanese retail sales rose 5.2 percent year-on-year in March, representing the fastest pace of growth in five months as consumer demand returned after suffering a huge hit due to the coronavirus pandemic last year, according to a Reuters report.
The world’s third-largest economy’s retail sales gains beat the median market forecast of 4.7 percent growth with the fastest rise since a 6.4 percent jump in October and the first positive growth seen in four months. Compared with the previous month, retail sales rose 1.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Fashion items were one of the categories driving growth in March and department stores saw particularly strong gains, posting a 19.3 percent jump in sales.
This said, Japan’s slow vaccine rollout and a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, leading to new state of emergency declarations last week, are expected to weigh on consumption in the near-term.