Japan’s retail sales grew 3.5 per cent in October, fastest in 10 months, from a year earlier as consumers shelled out more on fuel, cars, medicines and cosmetics.
Japanese policymakers are counting on stronger private consumption to help accelerate inflation to the central bank’s 2.0 per cent target.
The target inflation rate of the world’s third-largest economy has remained elusive despite more than five years of massive monetary stimulus, reports Reuters.
The 3.5 per cent annual gain in retail sales in October handily beat the median estimate for a 2.6 per cent increase and follows a revised 2.2 per cent rise in September.
It was the fastest annual gain since last December.
Retail sales are a key barometer for the strength of private consumption, which accounts for roughly 60 per cent of the Japanese economy.
The data confirmed they have risen for a full straight year, reflecting a tight labour market and gradual wage growth.
On a seasonally-adjusted basis, retail sales grew 1.2 per cent in October versus a revised 0.1 per cent gain in the previous month, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed on Thursday.
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