TOKYO: Japanese retail sales fell for the seventh straight month in September as the coronavirus pandemic kept a lid on consumers' shopping appetite, underscoring the fragile economic recovery from this year's slump.
As the adverse impact from the health crisis remains deep, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will announce next week a plan for fresh stimulus to help the recession-stricken economy, sources have told Reuters. [nL4N2HJ19Z ]
Retail sales fell 8.7% in September from a year earlier, government data showed on Thursday, a bigger fall than a median market forecast for a 7.7% drop.
Analysts also said the year-on-year decline was exacerbated as people rushed to buy ahead of a sales tax hike in October last year.
Compared from the previous month, retail sales slipped 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis, reversing from a 4.6% gain in August.
The world's third-largest economy is recovering from the worst postwar contraction in April-June, though any rebound is expected modest with growth taking some time to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
The signs are that lacklustre consumer spending and weak capital spending would offset a bounce in exports and factory output, putting policymakers under presser to adopt more steps to help shore up the economy.- Reuters
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