Japan's Retail Sales Up Less Than Expected in September

  • Sales show weakness compared to same month last year
  • Report is among indicators coming before BOJ meeting on Friday

Japan’s retail sales rose less than expected in September, providing another piece of evidence that the country’s economy may have contracted last quarter and entered a recession.

Retail sales gained 0.7 percent from August, compared with a 1.1 percent increase estimated by economists in a Bloomberg survey, the economy ministry reported Wednesday in Tokyo. The report is one of the economic indicators being released before the Bank of Japan decides on Oct. 30 whether to boost monetary stimulus. Reports on industrial production, hiring, spending and inflation also are set to be released before the BOJ’s decision.

“Data will determine the BOJ’s move,” Hideo Kumano, an economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute in Tokyo, said before the data were announced. “I’m expecting weak numbers. A key point is going to be if they will act without hesitation” for further easing.

The yen was little changed at 120.47 per dollar at 8:52 a.m. in Tokyo.

From the previous year, sales fell 0.2 percent, compared to an estimated 0.4 percent rise.

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