Japan plans more stimulus as retail sales shrinks by 1.2% in October

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tokyo, Japan (4E) – Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported on Thursday that retail sales fell by 1.2 per cent in October from the previous year at 10.871tn yen, missing estimate of 0.8 per cent contraction following a 0.4 per cent rise in September.

Large-scale retailers saw their sales drop by 3.2 per cent on an annualized basis to 1.471tn yen, which is a faster decline than the estimate of 2.2 per cent after contracting 1.0 per cent in the previous month.

To boost domestic demand, the government has announced a second round of stimulus on Friday in the tune of 1tn yen ($12.2bn) coming from reserve funds. The move comes after last month’s announcement of a 750bn stimulus package.

In October, retail sales by machinery and equipment companies fell 5.8 per cent in October from 2011. Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. are among the Japanese electronics companies suffering heavy losses amid slumping demand for their products. Last week, Fitch Ratings cut their credit rating to junk grade.

Slowing global demand for Japanese exports has crippled growth in the world’s third-biggest economy going into the Dec. 16 elections, where the two largest political parties have supported plans for additional stimulus to spur expansion.

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