Are Appliance Retail Sales Recovering in Japan?
Jul 11, 2014
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Seasonally adjusted May 2014 retail trade of household appliances in Japan was at an index level of 199.6, up from April 2014's index level of 193.8.

Japan's appliance retail trade is tracked by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and is reported in METI's Indices of Tertiary Industry Activity (ITA).

The seasonally adjusted index's 10-year peak was in March 2014, when the index hit 319.0 in advance of a much-hyped sales tax increase in Japan. The index has not registered consistently below 200 since 2010.

Industry watchers are hope to see appliance retail sales—and overall consumer consumption—bounce back after the tax increase. The seasonally adjusted retail index for appliances averaged a reading of about 239 during the 12 months prior to March 2014. The April-to-May increase, while promising, can't be construed as a trend.

Unadjusted May 2014 retail trade of household appliances in Japan was at an index level of 182.9, up from 174.6 in April 2014, but significantly down from March's spike to 338.1.

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