Retail sales in Japan lifted 2% for the month of May, as shopping revenue growth slowed in the archipelago nation, compared to April’s increase of 3.2%.
The May result came in below a median forecast of 2.6% compiled by Reuters.
The biggest contributors to the rise were sales of motor vehicles, followed by fuel, medicine and toiletries, according to the Economy Ministry.
Offsetting the gains, sales at supermarkets and department stores dipped 0.6% in May, after growing for the first time in nine months in April at a pace of 1.1%
Month-on-month, sales fell 1.6% from April, when they rose 1.4% on March.
However, June looks to be more positive on the retail front for major apparel and accessories players.
A report by WWD said big-name fashion retailers in Japan recorded a positive sales month in June, on the back of early clearance sales and an increase in shopping tourists to the nation.
Fast Retailing said Tuesday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo stores in Japan were up 4.1% on the year last month, while Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, the country’s largest department store operator, said same-store sales among its Tokyo metropolitan area gained 1.1% year-over-year in June.
After releasing a soaring first-quarter profit result last week, Takashimaya said June sales at its 17 department stores in Japan grew 4.6% compared with the same month last year, while H2O Retailing Corp, which operates the Hankyu and Hanshin chains of department stores, said sales at those stores were up 4.6% on the year last month.
Finally, the 18 Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores in Japan, operated by J. Front Retailing, posted a 4.8% sales rise on the year in June.