Economic Takeaways From Japan's Output, Retail Sales Data

What you need to know about Monday’s economic data released in Japan:

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION (OCTOBER)

  • Output rose 1.4 percent (1.8 percent forecast) from September, when it unexpectedly increased by 1.1 percent.
  • Measured year-on-year, production fell 1.4 percent (-0.9 percent forecast). That’s the third consecutive decline.

The takeaway: The data indicate the economy may be clawing its way back to growth after a midyear recession. Gross domestic product is likely to expand by an annualized 1.2 percent in the quarter ending Dec. 31, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
“Production may be escaping from its worst phase and could increase this quarter as exports show signs of recovery,” Yuichiro Nagai of Barclays Plc. said before the data was released.

RETAIL SALES (OCTOBER)

  • Retail sales rose 1.8 percent year-on-year (0.9 percent forecast) following a 0.1 percent drop in September.
  • Sales increased 1.1 percent from the previous month (0.3 percent forecast), when they advanced 0.8 percent.

The takeaway: The monthly sales increase after a drop in September is a good signal for the economy, along with the year-on-year gain. The data follow an unexpected decline last week in household spending figures, underscoring the need for stronger gains in wages to support Japanese consumers.

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